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Cal Fire Burning Through Its Budget

Fire season in California is about half over, but the state has already spent more than two-thirds of its $93 million dollar firefighting budget.

H.D. Palmer is with the California Department of Finance. He said the state is prepared to pay, whatever the cost.

“If we do spend more for fire suppression than is in the budget, that doesn’t mean that the tankers don’t fly, that doesn’t mean the hand crews aren’t out there, that doesn’t mean the trucks don’t show up," said Palmer. "We will have emergency appropriation authority to do that.”


Palmer also said the emergency appropriations would be paid for out of the state’s budget reserve. That’s just under a billion dollars.

Cal Fire has already spent $64 million dollars, which is close to what it spent all of last year.

The state sets a budget for Cal Fire based on the amounts spent the previous three years.