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Fire officials to use historic 2012 fire data to predict 2013 season

Published On: Mar 08 2013 06:47:28 PM MST
Wildfire photos

New numbers are out from last year's historic fire season.

Fire officials compare last year's fire season to the Great Fires of 1910 - which is considered the worst fire season on record.

Officials from National Interagency Fire Center said wildfires in 2012 cost US tax payers $580 million.

About $30 million was spent battling blaze in Montana.

This year the biggest blazes were in New Mexico, California, and next door in Idaho.

Montana also saw some significant fires, especially east of the continental divide in Gallatin County.

Fires scorched 1.1 million acres in Montana – an area nearly the size of Delaware.

In Custer and Gallatin County alone, fire's consumed nearly 350,000 acres.

Fire officials say, of the 62 blazes in the Gallatin National Forest last year, 29 of those were lighting caused, and 32 were caused by humans.

US Forest Service Spokesman Phil Sammon said the agency will use the data to make predictions for the 2013 fire season.

"It's really difficult to determine what the coming year is going to be like precisely,” said Sammon. “We're still working some of those numbers, and later in the year, in April, we'll have a picture of what we expect the year to look like."

For more information about the 2012 fire season, click here.