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The Boston Globe

Nation

Forest Service runs short of funds to fight wildfires

WASHINGTON — In the worst wildfire season on record, the US Department of Agriculture 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 — the things that fuel eye-popping blazes, threatening property and lives.

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