US wild­fire costs hit record $2.3 bil­lion; sea­son isn’t over

Ripon Bulletin - - Nation -

DEN­VER (AP) — The U.S. gov­ern­ment says it has al­ready spent a record $2.3 bil­lion fight­ing wild­fires this year, and 64 ma­jor fires are still burn­ing in 10 states.

The For­est Ser­vice, the na­tion’s pri­mary fire­fight­ing agency, said Thurs­day it has spent more than $2 bil­lion, and the In­te­rior Depart­ment says it has spent $345 mil­lion.

The pre­vi­ous record for com­bined fed­eral fire­fight­ing costs was $2.1 bil­lion in 2015.

Hot, dry weather across the Western U.S. has led to one of the worst fire sea­sons in a decade, and some cli­mate sci­en­tists say global warm­ing is partly to blame.

So far this year, U.S. fires have black­ened more than 13,000 square miles. That’s the fourth-high­est in a decade, and big fires could burn for sev­eral more weeks.

►TALL TAIL: RECORD-SET­TING CATS SHARE HOME NEAR DETROIT:

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Here’s a very tall tail: Two record-set­ting cats are liv­ing to­gether near Detroit.

Arc­turus Alde­baran Pow­ers holds the Guin­ness World Records mark for tallest do­mes­tic cat, mea­sur­ing at about 19 inches (48 cen­time­ters). House­mate Cygnus Reg­u­lus Pow­ers holds the record for the do­mes­tic cat with the long­est tail, mea­sur­ing more than 17 inches (43 cen­time­ters).

The cats live in Farmington Hills with Will and Lau­ren Pow­ers. Guin­ness says they sought the records to raise aware­ness about a cat shel­ter.

Will Pow­ers told The Detroit News that peo­ple of­ten want to have pho­tos taken with the cats, so they ask them for dona­tions for the shel­ter.

►NO USE IN CRY­ING: SPILLED MILK TURNS IN­DI­ANA CREEK WHITE:

TIP­TON, Ind. (AP) — Author­i­ties say an ac­ci­den­tal milk spill at a food pro­cess­ing busi­ness ended up turn­ing a cen­tral In­di­ana creek white.

The Kokomo Tri­bune re­ports the change in the hue of Cicero Creek in Tip­ton was no­ticed on Tues­day and in­ves­ti­ga­tors de­ter­mined that no more than 300 gal­lons (1,100 liters) of milk spilled from the Park 100 Foods plant.

State en­vi­ron­men­tal of­fi­cials in­di­cate the spill wasn’t dan­ger­ous.

Crews used hay bales to help con­tain the milk and a cleanup com­pany re­moved about 14,000 gal­lons (53,000 liters) of a water and milk mix­ture from the creek.

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