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More than 40 uncontained, active and large wildfires dot the western U.S. from Arizona to Washington state and Alaska, taxing national firefighting resources and helping to push spending past $1 billion for the year.

The National Interagency Fire Center in Boise has raised the national wildfire preparedness level to the highest tier for the first time in five years.

The center lists two central Idaho wildfires as the country’s top priorities, helping provide crews and resources for the Beaver Creek Fire, which forced the evacuation of 1,250 homes in the resort area of Ketchum and Sun Valley and has cost nearly $12 million so far.

President Barack Obama was briefed Tuesday on the wildfires by his homeland security adviser, Lisa Monaco. The White House said the administration’s focus is on supporting state and local first responders and that Obama’s team is in ongoing contact with federal and local partners.

Read the full article courtesy of the Insurance Journal. 

Posted 3:16 PM

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