Cal Fire almost out of money, agency says

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KGTV and AP) -- Ahead of a fire season that usually picks up in the fall, Cal Fire says it’s almost out of money.

The agency’s director Ken Pimlott said in a letter to lawmakers that the agency spent $432 million through the end of August, leaving only about $11 million left for the rest of the year.

Cal Fire says it needs roughly $234 million more. The agency plans to use the additional funds to add firefighters and helicopters.

Fire season generally picks up in the fall, when high temperatures ad winds combine with dry forest and grasslands, creating dangerous conditions. 

Cal Fire has requested extra money in seven of the last 10 years, but this is the first time the agency has asked for additional funds this early.

The legislature budgets for firefighting based on historical average costs.

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