In the worst wildfire season on record, the US Forest Service ran out of money to pay for firefighters, firetrucks, and aircraft that dump retardant on monstrous flames. So officials did about the only thing they could: take money from other forest-management programs. But many of the programs were aimed at preventing giant fires in the first place, and raiding their budgets meant putting off the removal of dried brush and dead wood over vast stretches of land.
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