Burnout: Scorched California Uses up Firefighting Budget

Burnout: Scorched California Uses up Firefighting Budget

California has no money left in its firefighting budget just three months after the beginning of the 2014-2015 fiscal year, in the midst of a crippling drought and widespread fires. 

As a result, Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration will have to transfer $70 million from a reserve fund in order to enable firefighting teams to fight the fires sure to come with the arrival of dry Santa Ana winds, according to the Associated Press.

On Monday, the state Department of Finance told legislative budget writers that the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has run dry on funds, having spent the entire $209 million the state budgeted for 2014-2015 for emergency wildfire suppression. The $70 million Brown will access comes from its $449 million special fund for economic uncertainties.

Keely Bosler, the finance department’s chief deputy director, said the money draw was necessary because California is fighting “one of its worst fire seasons in recent memory.” Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant warned that an onslaught of Santa Ana winds should begin later this week.


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