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A firefighter stands near a wildfire in Middletown, Calif., on Sept. 13, 2015.
Elaine Thompson—AP

The U.S. Forest Service says it is at a “tipping point” after fighting the nation’s increasingly common wildfires accounted for 65% of the agency’s $5 billion budget last year.

After 10 million of the agency’s 193 million acres were burned last year, the service is planning to ask Congress for more funding, the Guardian reports. Thanks to climate change and the drought conditions it brings, the average wildfire season has reportedly increased by 78 days in the past 30 years, and is likely to continue in that direction, meaning even more funding will be necessary to fight fires in the future.

“The whole U.S. Forest Service is shifting to becoming an agency dominated by wildfires,” the U.S.D.A.’s under secretary for natural resources and environment told the Guardian. “We really are at a tipping point. The current situation is not sustainable.”

[The Guardian]

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