Gov. Newsom to dedicate $2B toward wildfire preparedness

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MCCLELLAN PARK, Calif. (KGET) — Governor Gavin Newsom was at McClellan Park Monday morning to detail California’s plan for wildfire season.

Newsom’s administration plans to dedicate $2 billion for the state to ready for a very hot and dry season. According to the governor’s office, it is the largest allotment for fires in state history.

Of that $2 billion, Newsom said $1.2 billion would be for fire prevention and the remaining $800 million would be spent on fire response.

The funding also includes money for an extra 1,400 firefighters to stay on through the end of the season. 

“We have more firefighters on the ground now going into peak season than we ever have before,” said Cal Fire Director Thom Porter. 

The announcement comes as 1,000 more fires and 12,000 more acres have burned in California so far than this time last year. 

“Clearly we recognize we need to step up our efforts here in the state of California,” Newsom said.

“In my 30 plus years of doing this work I’ve never seen an investment like this,” said Office of Emergency Services Director Mark Ghilarducci.

Ghilarducci notes while fires are a major component of the funding, he says this is an all-hazard proposal with money also earmarked to boost flood and earthquake response efforts.

Newsom said the state has identified 500 “high priority” fire prevention projects his administration wants to complete.

State lawmakers have until June 15 to approve the funds along with the rest of the state budget. 

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