Cost of fighting Alaska summer wildfires more than $300M
In this Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019 photo provided by the Alaska Division of Forestry, a smoke plume from the McKinley Fire is seen along the Parks Highway near Willow, Alaska. (Maureen Clark/Alaska Division of Forestry via AP)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) –
The cost for state and federal officials to fight Alaska’s summer wildfires this year is estimated to have surpassed $300 million. The Anchorage Daily News reported the final tally of damage may not be known for years because the estimate does not include costs incurred by private land and home owners. Officials say the Alaska Division of Forestry recorded $224.9 million in 2019 firefighting expenses. The U.S. Forest Service reported $7 million in fire-related expenses, and the U.S. Department of the Interior reported $72 million. The Alaska Department of Natural Resources says the state could receive a large federal reimbursement.