BEND, OR -- A new report by the Oregon Department of Forestry sheds some light on this year’s fire season. Lightning and drought spread wildfire to more state-protected land in 2013 than any year since 1951. The 162 square miles that burned on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry was eight times the 10-year average, costing the state more than $122 million. After reimbursements from federal agencies, the state is liable for $75 million; that’s 30-million more than the revenue brought in by assessments and insurance.
The fires burned mostly in remote areas, but the Government Flat Complex burned four homes on the northern flank of Mount Hood. In total, 325 square miles burned in Oregon. Heavy rains late in the season slowed the spread of many of the big fires, helping to disperse the smoke.
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