Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Drought Speeds Fire Season With Damage Topping $1 Billion

U.S. states plagued by historic drought are bracing for an early wildfire season with a cost that may rise as high as $1.8 billion, or almost $500,000 more than what’s available to control the blazes.

Oklahomans fought seven fires in May during what is normally the state’s quietest period. Flames scorched four times as many acres in Texas from January through May as in the same period a year earlier. California is also far ahead of its usual pace and is bracing for hundreds more containment battles throughout the most populous U.S. state.