(NBCNC) - As fire teams continue to fight more than 50 wildfires across 11 states there is another battle the agency that directs those units must deal with.
The federal funds to fight the fires are quickly running out.
"We had a certain amount allocated in our suppression funds, and as we rapidly approaching the the expenditure of those we need to reach into the other program dollars and make up that difference," explains Steve Gage, Assistant Director of Operation at the National Interagency Fire Center.
The U.S. Forestry Service has been forced to divert $600-million from other programs to help pay a bill for fighting the wildfires that is already over a billion dollars, and like the fires, growing.
It comes on the heels of mandatory sequestration cuts that dropped the Forest Service budget by five percent. The real cost of those cuts is 500 firefighters and 50 engines.
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