ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Federal statistics show that efforts to douse the largest of the nation's wildfires last year cost more than $580 million, and it took more than three months in some cases to put out the flames.
A summary by the National Interagency Fire Center also shows more than 80 percent of the 51 largest fires were sparked by lightning. That includes the Long Draw and Holloway fires, which together burned more than 1 million acres and were among the largest in Oregon's history.
It was also a record year in New Mexico, where an estimated $42.4 million was spent fighting the state's largest and most destructive fires. Both were sparked by lightning.
The report shows hundreds of millions of dollars were also spent fighting the largest fires in California and Idaho.