The U.S. Forest Service has spent more than $2 billion battling forest fires that are blackening the American West.
That’s a new record for the agency and marks the first time wildfire spending by the Forest Service has topped $2 billion. Wildfires have ravaged the West this summer with 64 large fires burning across 10 states as of Thursday, including 21 fires in Montana and 18 in Oregon.
In all, 48,607 wildfires have burned nearly 13,000 square miles in one of the nation’s worst fire seasons.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says the severe fire season means officials end up having to hoard all money intended for fire prevention, because it’s needed to actually fight fires. (AP)