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

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Updated: 12/27/2013 9:48 am

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 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 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.

©2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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