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Wildfires will cost state more than $40 million

Nov 13, 2012 - The Associated Press

CHEYENNE -- State Forester Bill Crapser says this year's wildfires have consumed all the money the state had set aside for fire suppression.

Crapser says the season depleted both the state's entire fire suppression emergency account and its standard fire suppression budget for the entire two-year budget period.

An estimated 1,300 to 1,400 fires burned about 600,000 acres in Wyoming.

Wyoming's share of fighting wildfires this season will total an estimated $42 million.

Crapser told the Legislature's Joint Appropriations Committee last week that the total cost of fighting the fires was an estimated $108.5 million. The federal government will pick up most of the costs.

Gov. Matt Mead intends to increase funding for fire suppression efforts even though the state is looking to make budget cuts. He predicted firefighting costs in 2013 might reach $50 million.

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