When you live near raging wildfires, you begin to understand why the State of California spends nearly $1 billion a year on firefighting. You also start to see why some state lawmakers say it's time for more local responsibility.
"Those of us who live in a state responsibility area (SRA) are thankful that state taxpayers subsidize our fire protection. But the free ride may be over for us soon. And we might not get many more neighbors."
"It appears possible that the state budget deal could include some sort of new funding for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, either in the form of a surcharge on insurance premiums or a direct assessment on property owners. A homeowner like me might pay something in the neighborhood of $50 a year."
In addition, several pieces of legislation seek to limit development in state responsibility areas, or to force local agencies to take more responsibility for fire protection.