How Much Does It Cost to Fight the Yosemite Fire?

English: Yosemite valley, Yosemite National Pa...

English: Yosemite valley, Yosemite National Park, California, USA. Français : Vallée de Yosemite. Parc national de Yosemite, Californie (États-Unis). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The summer of 2013 has proven to be a destructive one. Brush fires have engulfed much of the Western United States, consuming large forests and chasing citizens out of their homes. The fire known as the Rim Fire is closing in one the Yosemite National Forest, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country.

Managing forest fires in the Western United States has been a consistent struggle over the decades with budgets proving to be hard to navigate around for local, state, and federal firefighting forces. Around 32,000 individual brush fires across California and other western states has resulted in the destruction of 3 million acres of land. To battle these blazes, the U.S. Forest Service, a federal office, contracts with private, state, and local firefighting agencies by providing funding, equipment, resources, and the chemicals needed to stop the blazes. On August 19th, 2013, the U.S. Forest Service has used $967 million to fund the management of these fires. At that time, the U.S. Forest Service only had $50 million left in its budget.

Why is the budget so affected this year compared to other years? For example, in 2012, the total amount of forest fires the U.S. Forest Service answered to totaled to around 67,700 fires and the destruction of 9.3 million acres of land. However, budgetary choices made by the Congress over the decade have made available funds for the U.S. Forest Service hard to find. In addition, the budget sequester, which went into effect this budget year, subtracted $115 million from federal wildfire management programs.

In addition, individual states are seeing their state budgets affected. California had to declare a state of emergency on August 23rd, 2013. One example of a damaging effect to California included the Rim Fire destroying much of the infrastructure near the Hetch Hetchy Resovoir, which supplies water and hydroelectric power to much of San Francisco. As a result of the damage, the city of San Francisco and neighboring municipalities that use the same energy source, spent over $600,000 in replacement water and energy. Private costs are also immense; thousands of homes and private property have been destroyed across the west, including from the Rim Fire. The Rim Fire near Yosemite threatens the national park, the metropolitan San Francisco area’s water and energy supply, and the major municipalities near. By August 25th, 2013, 143,980 acres near Yosemite National Park have been engulfed by the Rim Fire with only 7% of the fire contained. The Rim Fire is approximately 20 miles away from Yosemite National Park and although Route 120 heading into the park is closed, park officials are hopeful that the park will not be affected by the fire thanks to its current distance. If the Rim Fire expands to the Yosemite National Park, the costs for the U.S. Forest Service from the fire damage and trying to contain the fire could catapult higher.

Enhanced by Zemanta
Share the Love
Get Free Updates

  • 4 comments

    Trackbacks

    1. Meclub.Com says:

      Meclub.Com

      How Much Does It Cost to Fight the Yosemite Fire?

    2. blogs.paclimate.com

      How Much Does It Cost to Fight the Yosemite Fire?

    3. ynao.ac.cn says:

      ynao.ac.cn

      How Much Does It Cost to Fight the Yosemite Fire?

    4. phpdugwebsites.info

      How Much Does It Cost to Fight the Yosemite Fire?

    Speak Your Mind

    *