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State leaders call for shift in fire management

CASPER — Wildfire seasons are becoming longer, more destructive, and with an annual federal cost of $2.5 billion and growing, more expensive than ever, U.S. Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) and federal officials said during a Senate committee hearing last week, where leaders discussed the findings of a solemn report from the Wildland Fire Mitigation and Management Commission.

The ampleness of the commission’s inaugural report, at 340 pages, speaks to the scope of the challenge, which leaders concede poses an outsize threat in the West, where fires have struck fear into rural communities while disrupt...

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