Fires that continue to rage in Southern Oregon this summer have so far racked up a more than $135 million bill, about three-quarters of the dollars spent to battle fires throughout Oregon this season.

  

Southern Oregon’s remote and rugged wilderness areas have made it particularly difficult to stamp out the 13 major local blazes, adding to the costs and setting the stage for one of the most expensive fire seasons in recent memory.

“There’s a lot of country that doesn’t have any meaningful road systems,” said Brian Ballou, public information officer for the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center, which manages fire operations for 11 state and federal agencies. “It’s a wicked situation to try and put fire lines in.”

In Oregon the estimated cost for wildfire suppression this season stands at $181 million as of Monday with 329,093 acres burned in major blazes, compared to $150 million on the same date in 2017 when 355,122 acres had blackened the state. A major blaze is 100 or more acres in forested areas or 300 or more acres in grasslands.

Read the full article at the Medford Mail Tribune.