SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The wildfire budget is nearly drained for the fiscal year with months still left in the season.
Cal Fire announced Thursday it already spent $432 million of the $443 million dollar budget, leaving only $11 million remaining.
Fire officials anticipate needing an additional $234 million for the necessary resources to make it through the rest of the fire season.
This means for the seventh time in 10 years the state will most likely have to dip into reserve funds and ask for federal reimbursements.
Cal Fire has assembled a force of some 10,500 firefighters, but they’re stretched thin across the state and their job is getting harder.
With years of drought, Cal-Fire says conditions have changed, there’s more fuel to burn, and we should expect even longer fire seasons.
Nearly 5,500 wildfires have sparked in California this year.