Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday unveiled a revised budget proposal that includes what his office said is record spending for emergency preparation efforts amid another drought and a water crisis at the Oregon border.
With more than 4 million acres burned, California experienced its most destructive fire season last year, but this year is looking like it could be worse, and the state officials are scrambling to replace a shrinking number of inmate hand crews.
Newsom’s response is to “make the single largest investment in wildfire preparedness in our state’s history — $2 billion in emergency preparedness investments,” his office said in a statement after announcing his proposal for the 2021-22 fiscal year that begins July 1.
Kate Dargan, a former fire chief and current chair of the nonprofit California Fire Safe Council, called it “the largest expenditure any state has ever spent on focused wildfire preparedness.”
“It is a game-changing amount of money,” she said.