Central Washington fires cost $67.5M

<p>Courtesy Brian Myrick</p>

Courtesy Brian Myrick

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) -- Battling the four largest wildfires in central Washington this year cost an estimated $67.5 million.

The Yakima Herald-Republic reported that that figure doesn't include the cost of replacing damaged or destroyed property, or indirect costs such as lost business and tax revenues.

Joe Shramek of the state Department of Natural Resources says firefighters' wages and benefits and their equipment are always the greatest expense in fighting fires.

At an estimated $33.6 million, wages and benefits are about half the costs this year for the region's four largest fires -- the Taylor Bridge, Table Mountain, Wenatchee Complex and Yakima Complex blazes. The rest of the costs came from support personnel, logistics, supplies and aviation.

Those figures are estimates based on daily field reports compiled by the Department of Natural Resources.