The 2015 wildfire season is now the costliest on record, with $1.71 billion spent to fight the blazes, the
The previous record of $1.67 billion, adjusted for inflation, was set in fiscal year 2002, U.S. Department of Agriculture communications director Matt Herrick said. (The Forest Service is part of the U.S.D.A.)
With the season nearly over, 9.8 million acres burned in 2015, the second-highest total since records began in 1960, according to the
In addition, seven forest service firefighters died this year battling wildfires. Since 2000, on average, 18 firefighters have died each year fighting flames, the fire center reports.
Most of the fires hit the West and Alaska, which is typical. The size of the area burned this year is roughly equivalent to the states of Massachusetts and Connecticut combined.
Over the past 10 years, the Forest Service has spent $1.13 billion on average each year to fight wildfires. That amount does not include local or state costs to fight fires.
Nor does it include other federal agency firefighting costs. Agencies such as the