Unprecedented fire season means record-breaking costs

Oct 3, 2012

This year has been Wyoming’s worst fire season on record, and fighting the fires has cost an estimated $90 million.

State Forester Bill Crapser says that’s much higher than usual.

“It’s by far and away a record-setting year,” Crapser said. “Our last big fire season was 2006 … and total costs were probably about a third of what they were this year.”

Crapser says the counties, the state, and the federal government will divvy up the costs. But even so, he says, paying for everything will be tough.

“We went far beyond … both our state budget and our emergency fire suppression account,” he said, adding that the forestry division is working with the governor and lawmakers to find a way to pay for everything.

Crapser says despite the unprecedented fire season, firefighters had an excellent safety record, with only one fatality.