The effects of wildfire and environmental amenities on property values in northwest Montana, USA
This study employed the hedonic price framework to examine the effects of 256 wildfires and environmental amenities on home values in northwest Montana between June 1996 and January 2007. The study revealed environmental amenities, including proximity to lakes, national forests, Glacier National Park and golf courses, have large positive effects on property values in northwest Montana. However, proximity to and view of wildfire burned areas has had large and persistent negative effects on home values. The analysis supports an argument that homebuyers may correlate proximity to and view of a wildfire burned area with increased wildfire risk. Indeed, when a burned area is not visible from a home, wildfire risk appears to be out of sight and out of mind for homebuyers. Findings from this research can be used to inform debate about efficient allocation of resources to wildfire preparedness, including public education programs, and suppression activities around the wildland-urban interface.
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