USA – LOWELL, Ore. (AP) Oregon wildfires already have burned nearly 500 square miles (1,295 square kilometers) this year, as one of the state’s many multimillion-dollar forest fires this season smolders and flares away.
The Register-Guard reports (http://bit.ly/2iD8e3G ) the blaze, started by lightning in remote, steep terrain on the Willamette National Forest, is close to Eugene and just up the road from Lowell.
The fire was too dangerous to squelch when it blew up on Aug. 12, sending up a 25,000-foot-high (7,620-meter-high) column of smoke.
Northwest Interagency Coordination Center spokesman Brian Ballou says the large fires in Oregon have cost the state and federal agencies a combined $100 million to fight so far.
Taxpayer money covers the costs of fighting wildfires, with the funds coming from local, state and federal coffers.
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