Budget Battle Wildfires

Showdown looms between Vilsack, Congress over wildfire costs

File - In this Aug. 17, 2015 file photo, timber burns in the First Creek fire near lakeside structures on the western shore of Lake Chelan near Chelan, Wash. The U.S. Forest Service depleted its firefighting budget in August as the costliest fire season in U.S. history destroyed hundreds of homes in California and the Pacific Northwest. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, file)CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Federal budget brinksmanship could flare while wildfires are bearing down on U.S. communities after Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack vowed to end the practice of raiding other programs’ funding to cover firefighting costs.

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