Cost of Fighting Wildfire Tops $37M

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 5, 2009 11:47 AM CDT
Artist Niko Solario prepares to videotape the ruins of a home after the Station fire swept through Big Tujunga Canyon in the Angeles National Forest, Sept. 4, 2009.   (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
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(Newser) – The fight to contain the deadly Los Angeles-area Station fire has so far cost more than $37 million, the LA Times reports, and that’s not counting property damage or the cost to the environment. The blaze is still burning through the San Gabriel Wilderness, but it’s 42% contained, and no longer threatens any homes. Officials are clearing debris basins, worried that rains will bring heavy erosion.

The toll so far: Two firefighters killed and 10 hospitalized after encountering hazardous materials, including cyanide, in two separate incidents; 76 homes destroyed and 13 more damaged; 154,000 acres burned. Arson investigators continue to examine a suspicious substance found at what is believed to be the origin of the fire, and a $100,000 reward has been offered.