Resource Minimization Fire Containment (RMFC) is a natural model for optimal inhibition of harmful spreading phenomena on a graph. In the RMFC problem on trees, we are given an undirected tree G, and a vertex r where the fire starts at, called root. At each time step, the firefighters can protect up to B vertices of the graph while the fire spreads from burning vertices to all their neighbors that have not been protected so far. The task is to find the smallest B that allows for saving all the leaves of the tree. The problem is hard to approximate up to any factor better than 2 even on trees unless P = NP [King and MacGillivray, 2010].

Chalermsook and Chuzhoy [Chalermsook and Chuzhoy, 2010] presented a Linear Programming based O(log^* n) approximation for RMFC on trees that matches the integrality gap of the natural Linear Programming relaxation. This was recently improved by Adjiashvili, Baggio, and Zenklusen [Adjiashvili et al., 2017] to a 12-approximation through a combination of LP rounding along with several new techniques.

In this paper we present an asymptotic QPTAS for RMFC on trees. More specifically, let ε>0, and ℐ be an instance of RMFC where the optimum number of firefighters to save all the leaves is OPT(ℐ). We present an algorithm which uses at most ⌈(1+ε)OPT(ℐ)⌉ many firefighters at each time step and runs in time n^O(log log n/ε). This suggests that the existence of an asymptotic PTAS is plausible especially since the exponent is O(log log n), not O(log n).

Our result combines a more powerful height reduction lemma than the one in [Adjiashvili et al., 2017] with LP rounding and dynamic programming to find the solution. We also apply our height reduction lemma to the algorithm provided in [Adjiashvili et al., 2017] plus a more careful analysis to improve their 12-approximation and provide a polynomial time (5+ε)-approximation.