Cost Of Fighting 2018 Colorado Wildfires Tops $40 Million
Colorado seems to have been on fire the entire summer, and the costs to fight those fires has exceeded $40 million.
$33 million of that amount has been spent on just two fires.
The 416 fire near Durango has cost the most so far, at just over $27 million. The state's largest fire, the Spring fire, has cost $6.5 million so far but is expected to jump significantly before it's finally out.
In 2017, over $2 billion was spent on wildfires nationwide, a number that grows larger each year. By comparison, the US Forest Service spent roughly 13% of their budget on fighting wildfires in 1991. That amount is now closer to 75% of their budget and growing.
Costs to fight the fires have risen in part because of how the fires are being fought now. Helicopters, tankers and high tech run the costs of fighting these fires up, and they will continue to rise as more fires burn.
There are currently nearly 80 firefighting aircraft in the state, and several fires are still burning. Until they are out, the costs will continue to rise.