At Over $2 Billion in Suppression Costs—2017 Stacks Up to Be Costliest Wildfire Season
With the wildfire season winding down, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced that as of September 14, the Forest Service has spent over $2 billion in wildfire suppression costs on 2.2 million acres of National Forest land and deployed over 27,000 individuals over the Western region to deal with wildfires -- breaking all previous records. Homes and lives have been lost and residents all over the region are complaining of ash, haze and lung-burning smoke. Unhealthy air alerts were issued many days in several Western states. In the last two decades, fire suppression has ballooned from approximately 15 percent of the Forest Service’s budget to more than 50 percent of the overall budget.
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