Taming Wildfires in the Context of Climate Change: The Case of the United States

Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
Posted on: 5/22/2024 - Updated on: 5/22/2024

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The frequency and severity of extreme wildfires are on the rise in the United States, causing unprecedented disruption and increasingly challenging the country’s capacity to contain losses and damages. While some level of wildfire activity is critical to maintain ecosystem functioning and balance across many landscapes in the United States, the climate and socio-economic changes experienced in recent decades are increasing extreme wildfire risk in many areas. These challenges are set to keep growing in the context of climate change, highlighting the need to scale up wildfire prevention and climate change adaptation. 

This paper provides an overview of the United States’ wildfire policies and practices and assesses the extent to which wildfire management in the country is evolving to adapt to growing wildfire risk under climate change. It analyzes how the United States’ policy and institutional framework have evolved in response to these challenges and highlight the key policy solutions, practices and emerging challenges in adaptation to wildfire risk in the United States. In conclusion, we provide an overview of the key findings and outlines ongoing advances.


OECD (2024), Taming wildfires in the context of climate change: The case of the United States, OECD Environment Policy Papers, No. 40, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/ef69cc94-en.

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Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

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