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Two Forest Service bombers played a key role on Sunday in stopping the Water Wheel Fire short of Beaver Valley, but the high cost of firefighting now consumes about half of the agency’s budget.

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Fire smolders, budget burns

More than 300 firefighters spent Thursday working the edges of the 770 acres burned by the Water Wheel Fire, their dogged and vital efforts underscoring the plight of the U.S. Forest Service — which now devotes about half its total budget to fighting forest fires.

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