Urban Fold

Should Taxpayers Foot The Bill For Wildfires?

A debate over who should be responsible for the costs incurred by wildfires is raging between the Federal government and state and local officials.

"The steeply rising cost of preventing and suppressing wildfires, which burned more of the American landscape in 2006 than in any other year since at least 1960, is creating a rift between Washington and state and local governments over how the burden ought to be shouldered."

"A study issued in November by the inspector general's office of the United States Department of Agriculture, the parent agency of the Forest Service, said the nature of the wildfire threat was changing as private homes and communities pushed ever closer to the boundaries of once-remote public lands. Those communities and landowners, rather than federal taxpayers, should have to pay for more of their own fire protection, the report concluded."

Full Story: As Costs of Wildfires Grow, So Does a Question: Who Should Pay?

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