Acres burned already exceeds the comparable figure for 2006, the previous record year.


Figure 1: Acres burned to August 22 (blue bar), from August 22 to September 25 (red bar) and to year-end (green bar). Source: NIFC1, NFIC2, author’s calculations.

Using the same regression (log acres on log acres ytd) used in this post, my estimate of acres burned has risen from 9.62 million to 9.76 million.

This in turn raises the estimated total expenditures from $2.27 billion to $2.29 billion.


Figure 2: Acres burned (blue, left scale) and total Federal firefighting expenditure in dollars (pink, right scale) predicted 2015 (pink triangle). Source: NIFC1, NFIC2, and author’s calculations.

I’ve only tabulated direct Federal fiscal costs; here is an article on part of the human toll. Further note that these costs do not include state level costs. Cal Fire’s total budget for the current fiscal year is about $390 million.[1]