"US, States Struggle To Pay Spiraling Cost Of Fighting Fires"

"SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The long and brutal 2017 wildfire season is stressing the state and federal agencies that have to pay for the army of ground crews and machinery required to fight them.

The federal government spent more than $2.7 billion on firefighting in its most recently finished budget year, a record that far surpassed the previous high point of $2.1 billion set just two years ago.

In California, firefighting costs have already chewed through more than half of the state's $469 million emergency fund for big fires just three months in — and that doesn't include the costs of the recent catastrophic fires that have claimed dozens of lives and thousands of buildings."

Don Thompson and Dan Elliott report for the Associated Press October 15, 2017.

Source: AP, 10/17/2017