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Report: Rim Fire damage may be up to $800M

A wildfire near Yosemite National Park may have cost hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to the economy and the environment, consultants say.

SONORA, Calif. (AP) — A new report estimates that the damage to the ecosystem caused by this year’s Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park may have cost the local economy $800 million.

The report, prepared by Earth Economics for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, says trees provide a useful function by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen, and the blaze has reduced that oxygen output.

The value of carbon storage lost in the fire is between $102 million and $797 million, the report said, using data collected in September, before the Rim Fire was extinguished.

In addition, the fire has reduced the value of nearby private property by between $49.7 million and $265 million, it said.

The fire, started by a hunter’s illegal campfire, burned across about 256,000 acres before it was contained in October.



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