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Cost of fighting big fires hampers Forest Service programs

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The U.S. Forest Service is spending far more money fighting more and larger forest fires, and has less left in its kitty to manage forests before those fires strike.

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That was the summary Wednesday by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who released a new report showing firefighting now accounts for 42 percent of the Forest Service budget, up from 16 percent in 1995.

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