USA — The state of California is burning through its firefighting budget less than a month into the new fiscal year.
Cal Fire has already spent more than a quarter of its emergency fire suppression budget for the entire fiscal 2015 in just the month of July: $47 million, out of a total budget of $209 million.
Its an indicator that we, unfortunately, are likely to have a very busy fire season this year, said H.D. Palmer with the governors Department of Finance. And its in part compounded by the drought conditions, the unprecedented drought conditions, that California is facing this year.
If Cal Fire goes over budget as its done in all but three years since 2000 it will turn to the states budget reserve. That reserve is less than half the size of the one in last years budget.
Still, even if the reserve gets emptied out, Theres never gonna be a situation when the budget would be a reason that tankers dont fly and crews arent deployed as soon as possible to knock those fires down, Palmer said.
Should that occur, the state would find more money somewhere else in the California budget.
More than a dozen wildfires erupted across San Diego County in May amid critically hot, dry and windy conditions and went on to rage for days, burning down 65 structures, including 46 single-family homes. Several apartments and commercial structures also were destroyed in the fires.