ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Nearly $25 million has already been spent preparing for the immediate aftermath of this year's wildfires.
That puts the U.S. Forest Service on track for another possible record year of spending on burned-area recovery efforts.
Scientists are working in New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Nevada and Wyoming to brace for possible post-fire flooding and other hazards within the burn scars.
So far, nearly all of the money is going toward building water bars, removing hazardous trees and spreading seed in southern New Mexico. The state recorded both its largest and its most destructive wildfires in the last two months.
Neighboring Colorado is also having its worst fire season in a decade. Teams are working to determine how much recovery work there will cost.