The effort to fight wildfires in the U.S. will likely run $400 million over budget this year, according to the U.S. Forest Service and the Department of the Interior. “The Forest Service has made plans to beef up its force of over 100 aircraft and 10,000 firefighters in preparation for what it said in a statement ‘is shaping up to be a catastrophic fire season,’” McDonnell reports. “But the real catastrophe has been years in the making: Federal fire records and budget data show that the U.S. wildfire response system is chronically and severely underfunded, even as fires—especially the biggest ‘mega-fires’—grow larger and more expensive.”
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