Take Two for July 22, 2013

Increased development in wooded areas may strain US Forest Service budget

Black Forest Fire

Chris Schneider/Getty Images

Firefighters in Colorado are hoping rain helps their efforts Monday as they work to contain the most destructive fire in state history. The Black Forest Fire has destroyed 500 homes. (Photo: Smoke billows near a home from the Black Forest Fire on June 12, 2013 north of Colorado Springs, Colo.)

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. 


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