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Mead Says Fire Season Will Be Costly

Gov Mead

In addition to the resource and property losses as well as the emotional impacts of this summer’s fires in Wyoming, the financial burden of those events to the state will be significant.  Visiting Jackson Thursday morning, Governor Matt Mead admitted that the state’s share of the $70-million dollar price tag to datefar exceeds the amount budgeted for fire suppression. However, he added there is no other option but to fight the fires.  “You don’t say it’s on the edge of Jackson, let it burn, “ Mead says.  “You have to attack those fires, and I have directed the State Forestry to be as aggressive as possible on this – and I would say they have done a great job this year, trying to get on fires as quickly as possible .”  Mead says thunderstorms have brought with them a high number of lightning strikes, all of which have the potential to start a new fire.  Getting onto them as quickly as possible is also a cost, but Mead says, “it’s a cost that we need to pay.”  Mead also pointed as an example to the DC10 tanker that dropped slurry on the Little Horsethief Canyon Fire Wednesday and the Sheepherder Fire outside Casper earlier as extremely expensive.  At the same time, Mead says the local residents around Wyoming have been, in his words, “amazing, and of the highest skill level.”  Even those not directly fighting the fires have included a woman cooking up homemade stew for the firefighters in one community and some young girls who appeared nightly at a fire camp earlier this summer to give popsicles at the end of their days.

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