Fires Cost Idaho Taxpayers More Than $60 million
BOISE, Idaho (KTVB) -- Raging wildfires are the fear every summer in Idaho, but this year it was an abnormal amount of fires on state land that have many concerned. That's because Idaho taxpayers will be footing the bill for millions of dollars spent in suppression measures.
The Idaho Department of Lands says nearly 750,000 acres burned across the state in one of the longest fire seasons, that may not be over yet. IDL says several factors led to an unusual five months, with flames destroying more than 100 structures, and nearly 30 incident management teams responding.The fire fight on state land has already added up to more than $60 million. Wildfires have reached more land in years past, but suppression hasn't been as expensive.
A combination of low moisture, warm temperatures, and an unusual fuel levels made for conditions the state hasn't seen in nearly a century. From the Celebration Fire in May to the Walker Fire in October, the flames spread fast for longer than usual. IDL says more than 60 homes and 80 structures were destroyed this fire season. The investigations into human-caused fires are still underway and should be complete in about a month.