National News

Aug 20, 2013 5:55 PM by Associated Press

Hot, dry summer pushes wildfire spending past $1B

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) - Wildfires burning in Oregon, Idaho and Montana are taxing national firefighting resources and helping to push spending past $1 billion for the year.

The National Interagency Fire Center in Boise upped the national wildfire preparedness level Tuesday to the highest level for the first time in five years.

The center lists two central Idaho wildfires as the country's top priorities, helping provide crews and resources for the Beaver Creek fire, which forced the evacuation of 1,250 homes in the resort area of Ketchum and Sun Valley and has cost nearly $12 million so far.

Fire center official Steve Gage says they can't fill the requests for crews and equipment for all 48 fires that remain uncontained around the country.

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