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Firefighting Costs Escalate For Cal Fire And US Forest Service

Jeff Chiu / AP

Cal Fire engineer Johnny Miller stands in front of a fire off of Morgan Valley Road near Lower Lake, California, Friday, July 31, 2015. The Rocky Fire has been burning in the area since the afternoon of July 29, 2015.

Jeff Chiu / AP

The cost of fighting fire is growing, not just in California, but nationwide.
For the first time in its 110 year history, the US Forest Service is spending more than 50 percent of its budget putting out wildfires.
Fire seasons are now 78 days longer than they were in the 1970’s.
According to a new US Forest Service report, the cost of fire suppression is expected to grow to nearly $1.8 billion by 2025.
In California, the US Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region spent nearly 40 percent of its budget on fire suppression, up from 30 percent in 2013.
Statewide, the numbers aren’t looking much better for Cal Fire. In the first three weeks of this fiscal year alone, fire suppression costs have escalated to $71 million, that's almost a fifth of Cal Fire's $392 million budget for the year.