Journal of Forest Economics > Vol 25 > Issue 1

Valuing morbidity effects of wildfire smoke exposure from the 2007 Southern California wildfires

Ikuho Kochi, Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, ikuho.kochi@uacj.mx Patricia A. Champ, US Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, United States, John B. Loomis, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Colorado State University, United States, Geoffrey H. Donovan, US Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, United States,
 
Suggested Citation
Ikuho Kochi, Patricia A. Champ, John B. Loomis and Geoffrey H. Donovan (2016), "Valuing morbidity effects of wildfire smoke exposure from the 2007 Southern California wildfires", Journal of Forest Economics: Vol. 25: No. 1, pp 29-54. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jfe.2016.07.002

Published: 0/12/2016
© 0 2016 Ikuho Kochi, Patricia A. Champ, John B. Loomis, Geoffrey H. Donovan
 
Subjects
 
Keywords
JEL Codes:I18Q51Q53
Cost of illnessAir qualityForest fireCardiorespiratory illnessSocial cost
 

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In this article:
Introduction
Previous studies on the economic costs of wildfire smoke exposure
Description of wildfires
Estimation of the economic costs of wildfire smoke exposure
Results
Discussion and conclusions

Abstract

This study estimated the economic costs associated with morbidity from the wildfires that occurred in 2007 in southern California. We used the excess number of hospital admissions and emergency department visits to quantify the morbidity effects and used medical costs to estimate the economic impact. With data from 187 hospital facilities and 140 emergency departments located in five counties in southern California, we found evidence of significant acute adverse health reactions to wildfire-smoke exposure. Specifically, we found approximately 80 excess respiratory-related hospital admissions, 26 excess acute cardiovascular-related hospital admissions, nearly 760 excess respiratory-related emergency department visits, and 38 excess acute cardiovascular-related emergency department visits. We estimated that the associated medical costs were over $3.4 million. Since these cost estimates do not consider costs related to other adverse health effects, such as mortality, symptoms that were not severe enough to warrant going to the emergency room or hospital, or the costs of avoiding exposure to wildfire smoke, our estimates do not reflect the full health-related costs of wildfire smoke exposure.

DOI:10.1016/j.jfe.2016.07.002