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Wyoming’s Fire Costs Extremely High

October 3, 2012 Jackson Hole, State of Wyoming No Comments
Governor Matt Mead

As Wyoming’s fire season appears at last to be quieting down, Governor Mead says the cost of this year’s fire season has far exceeded the $6-million dollars the state had set aside to pay for a firefight.  In fact, he says costs are now estimated for between $80-and-90 million across the state, with half of the costs to be borne by the state itself.  Mead says by virtue of the nature of the state’s 400 fires, no federal money beyond the 50/50 split is likely to be available from the feds.  Mead explains that any additional money from the federal government would be based on structures being damaged; and in Wyoming, not as many structures were lost as there were in Colorado.  Those that were lost in the Arapaho Fire near Wheatland were second homes which are not considered in the federal formula.  On top of that, Mead says the fires burned so hot in some areas of the state that the soil was sterilized and next year there will be erosion problems as a result.  He says there have already been requests for money to address reclamation of some of those areas.  Of the 400 fires in the state, 35 were considered major.  One of those, the Little Horsethief Canyon Fire, cost an estimated $8.9 million to fight.

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