- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 18, 2015

DENVER (AP) - In a story Aug. 14 about wildfire-fighting costs, The Associated Press erroneously reported how soon the U.S. Forest Service expects to exhaust its firefighting budget. The agency is expected to deplete the budget within the next month, not the week of Aug. 16.

A corrected version of the story is below:

Bad fire season running through US firefighting budget

USDA chief says bad wildfire season is quickly burning through federal firefighting budget

DENVER (AP) - The Obama administration says wildfires have been so bad this season that the Forest Service will exhaust its firefighting budget within the next month and will again have to tap into other programs for more money.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, whose department includes the Forest Service, said Friday Congress needs to change the way it funds firefighting.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Vilsack said firefighting costs are consuming an ever-greater share of the agency’s budget, taking money away from programs that could help prevent wildfires.

The House passed a bill last month that would let the Forest Service tap into federal disaster funds when its firefighting budget is empty. Vilsack said that doesn’t address the longer-term problem of the firefighting budget devouring a bigger share of the total each year.

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