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Fires In Southern Oregon May Be Costliest Ever For State

OPB | Aug. 19, 2013 12:32 p.m. | Updated: Aug. 20, 2013 9:56 a.m. | Medford, Oregon

Contributed By:

OPB Staff

This year’s two massive Southern Oregon wildfires may turn out to be the costliest in the state’s history.

The Medford Mail Tribune reports that firefighting costs on the Big Windy and Douglas Complex fires have nearly topped $60 million so far.

That money comes from the Oregon Department of Forestry.

ODF has historically spent under $10 million a year on wildfire costs.

It’s still not clear how much of that bill will be paid by Oregon taxpayers.

At least some of that money should be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

After FEMA reimbursements following the nearly 500-thousand-acre Biscuit fire in Southern Oregon in 2002, the state wound up spending about $50 million.

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