As Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) Develops, Firefighting Costs Will Soar

Fighting wildfires costs have averaged more than $3 billion per year, and home protection contributes substantially to this amount. The majority of the WUI in the West is currently undeveloped, but building on these lands will significantly drive up costs. Related Research »

Across the West, 84% of the WUI is currently undeveloped. Counties shown in MAROON are places where better planning and policies can have the biggest impact to reduce future firefighting costs.

Headwaters Economics
Notes: WUI is defined as forested private land within 500 meters of forested public land.
Since 2002, the cost of federal wildfire protection and suppression has averaged more than $3 billion per year.
Developed and Undeveloped Land in the WUI
The Best Opportunities
Summary Wildfire Statistics
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