Fight Fires with Funds: New Federal Funding Mechanism Proposed for Wildfires

“Robbing Peter to pay Paul” and “thumb in the dike” describe the way the federal government has been funding the cost of fighting the nation’s wildfires. President Obama’s new budget proposal could change the current arrangement.
February 26, 2014, 8am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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The Obama Administration has a budget proposal that would change the way it protects the country’s 70,000 communities surrounded by forests.

Allison Sherry reports that “the departments of Agriculture and Interior had to transfer $463 million in 2012 and $636 million in 2013 to fight fires.” The transfers amount to “cribbing cash to fight fires from the same pot used for suppression and prevention.”

Under a proposal a new proposal by the Obama Administration, "the costs to fight severe wildfires — those that require emergency response or are near urban areas — would be funded through a new ‘wildfire suppression cap adjustment.’ This funding mechanism removes firefighting cash from regular discretionary budget caps, thus protecting prevention funds."

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Published on Monday, February 24, 2014 in The Denver Post
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