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Price Tag For Large Wildfires In U.S.? A Cool $580 Million

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A newly released national report shows a hefty price tag for last year’s prolonged, disastrous wildfire season.

The summary by the National Interagency Fire Center shows efforts to douse some of the nation’s largest fires – those larger than 40,000 acres -- cost more than $580 million.

With more than a dozen fires between March and December, 2012 was one of Colorado’s worst wildfire seasons ever. The High Park Fire near Fort Collins was one of the most destructive blazes in state history. It charred 87,284 acres during the month of June and racked up $38.4 million in costs.

The summary also shows more than 80 percent of the largest fires were sparked by lightning – including the High Park Fire.

Read the report [.pdf] here.

See an overview of the 2012 wildfire season by the Denver Post here.

As host of KUNC's Colorado Edition, I work closely with our producers and reporters to bring context and diverse perspectives to the important issues of the day. And because life is best when it's a balance of work and play, I love finding stories that highlight culture, music, the outdoors, and anything that makes Colorado such a great place to live.
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