Cost of the drought: Last summer cost Texas $253.1 million in expenses, astaggering $7.62 billion in lost crops
Last summer's drought and resulting wildfires were devastating, and the financial toll should come as no surprise.
The bulk of that number, a staggering $208.0 million, can be attributed to wildfire costs, with $196.8 million going to the Texas Forest Service's fire fighting expenses.
The LBB report details that state agencies and universities spent an estimated $253.1 million on drought-related activities and services, including wildfire costs, administrative or program costs (such as groundskeeping, infrastructure costs and dead tree removal) and in impact on revenue generation.
The bulk of that number, a staggering $208.0 million, can be attributed to wildfire costs, with $196.8 million going to the Texas Forest Service's fire fighting expenses. Groundskeeping at 16 higher education institutions totaled $1.4 million.
This pales in comparison to the economic losses incurred by the agriculture sector: In a March report, the Texas AgriLife Extension Service economists calculated $7.62 billion in lost crops and livestock in 2011.
Though Houston and much of East Texas is currently in the clear on the U.S. Drought Monitor, West Texas has already seen wildfires this month, and much of the Lone Star State falls under some stage of drought conditions.
Are we going to see a devastating summer this year, too?