Fires cost Forest Service record $2 billion

The Forest Service has spent more than $2 billion battling forest fires around the country – a new record as wildfires blacken the American West in one of the nation’s worst fire seasons.

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 forests so choked with trees that they are at “powder keg levels,” as one Forest Service ecologist put it.

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