MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Department of Forestry has spent more than $70 million fighting major wildfires so far this summer, far more than it generally spends to handle conflagrations on state-protected lands.
The two largest wildfires in Southern Oregon — the Big Windy and Douglas Complex fires — are responsible for almost $60 million of that total.
Dan Postrel of the Forestry Department told the Mail Tribune newspaper (http://is.gd/uyzA1A ) that the agency generally tallies anywhere from $3 million to $7 million in a given summer, making this an "epic year."
How much of the bill will fall on Oregonians depends on how much ODF will be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
In cases where large fires threaten structures, FEMA can reimburse the state for up to 75 percent of eligible costs during the time structures are threatened.
Information from: Mail Tribune, http://www.mailtribune.com/