Ask fire managers about fighting runaway wildland fires, and it might start to sound like they are talking about coordinating a coalition-led war. There are decisions about where to send their assets, and whose assets to send. There are decisions about when, where and what to defend with a limited number of fire crews. And there are decisions about jurisdictional responsibility. All of it comes at a cost, and it’s one that does not end when a fire is contained. At every level of government — county, state and federal — budgeting for fire poses an increasing challenge. “It is so complicated and almost impossible to budget for,” said Kacey KC, the state forester. In rangelands and forests across the West, more extreme and expensive wildfires are being fueled by warmer weather, vicious cycles of invasive species and more home development extending the wildland-urban interface.