An answer to a burning question: what will the Forest Service spend on fire suppression this summer?
Wildfire management has become an ever-larger part of Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and other land management agency appropriations and expenditures. In fiscal year (FY) 2008, the wildfire program budget was nearly 44 percent of initial Forest Service discretionary appropriations (U.S. Congress 2008). Total expenditures for suppression eventually exceeded the initial appropriations by more than $500 million, resulting in additional appropriations from Congress and internal transfers from Forest Service programs. Clearly, wildfire suppression has become a dominant part of Forest Service budgeting, planning, and activities.