The US Forest Service has a lot on its plate when it comes to preventing wildfires. So much so, that fighting fires and protecting buildings may engulf the department's $4.5 billion budget.
Some experts attribute the costs to climate change and expanding development into forestland, an area known called the wildland-urban interface. Encroaching into the area, researchers say, removes a protective buffer from wildfires for populated areas.
Ray Rasker, executive director of Headwater Economics, a non-profit research group joins the show with more.