Local News

Obama administration pushes Congress to ensure enough money is available to fight wildfires

DENVER - The Obama administration is pushing Congress to ensure enough money is available to fight wildfires.

The pressure is coming as California recovers from a spate of fires in San Diego County and other states brace for a hot, dry summer.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack intends to appear in Denver on Tuesday to discuss 2015 budget proposals that call for annual spending to equal 70 percent of the estimated 10-year average firefighting cost. His plan also calls for an additional $954 million disaster funding pool.

In the past, when firefighting funds have run out, money has been borrowed from fire prevention programs.

Vilsack also intends to announce prevention measures to help 94 national forest areas in 35 states address insects and disease that turn trees into tender.

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