A period of drought has caused 1,400 wildfires in California alone this year, twice the usual number. The latest fire erupted in the Sacramento area on Friday, destroying ten homes and leading to the evacuation of over 500 more. At least 1,500 firefighters and numerous aircraft are battling the blaze which is reported to be 35 percent contained. The cost of fighting forest fires has risen steadily over the past two decades in the United States.
The U.S. government now spends 624% more on containing these fires than it did back in 1985. In 2013, the bill came to a whopping $1.7 billion. Taking wildlife preservation, land rehabilitation and other factors into account, the final price could even be up to $2 billion higher than that, according to estimates by Headwaters Economics.