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HOUSTON -- The cost of the worst one-year drought in Texas history continues to climb and some experts say it could last another nine years.

Wildfires burned more than three million acres in Texas. The scorched land is expected to lose as much as 60 percent of its value, and it could take years to recover.

There are also hidden costs associated with the drought.

The forestry commission estimates that nearly a hundred million dollars worth of harvestable timber has also been lost in the wildfires. Countless more, untouched by fire, are dead or dying because of the drought.

There's also an impact on agriculture. Faced with hay and water shortages, ranchers have been forced to sell off cattle. Crops have withered in the field and the state has recorded a record $5.2 billion in agriculture losses.

What's interesting about drought is, people can insure themselves against water: flood insurance. But when you think about drought, your slab cracking, losing thousands of dollars worth of landscaping, millions worth of trees, none of it's insured, said Precinct Three Commissioner Steve Radack.

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