Wildfire season in Texas most costly on record - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Wildfire season in Texas most costly on record

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SAN ANTONIO (AP) - State officials say 2011 will go down as the most expensive wildfire season on record in Texas, and the price tag is still climbing.

The Texas Forest Service said Wednesday that fighting wildfires have cost an estimated $61.5 million in the last few months alone. That's on top of $121 million lawmakers gave the agency in June to help pay for wildfires earlier this spring.

Robby Dewitt, the forest service's finance official, says it's the most Texas has spent on wildfires since records started being kept in the mid-1990s.

Dewitt said at least $33.5 million in federal grants is expected to help offset costs.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said Wednesday that 53 fire assistance grants authorized for Texas this year is one short of the record set in 1996.