US wildfire costs hit record $2.3 billion; season isn’t over
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.
NEWS FROM ACROSS THE NATION