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California on Thursday announced it will be designating $536 million towards combatting wildfires in the state, according to a statement from California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom's office.
The Wildfire Prevention and Resiliency package was agreed upon by Newsom and various lawmakers as the state experiences a dry year, putting it at risk for another deadly wildfire season.
"It is critical that we get a head start on reducing our fire risk," reads a joint statement between Newsom, California Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood). "We are doing that by investing more than half a billion dollars on projects and programs that provide improved fire prevention for all parts of California."
It continued, "We are pleased to have reached an agreement to get California quickly on the road to strong wildfire prevention, but we know more work is needed."
The funding comes as California experienced its third-driest water year on record from October to March 2020, according to the California Department of Water Resources. Various wildfires in 2020 effected more than 4 million acres and caused around $10 billion in property damage.
In a message posted to Twitter Thursday, Atkins hailed the package as a way to prevent financial loss and loss of life.
"Every $ spent on prevention saves CA $6-7 in damage," she wrote. "But, this is about more than money. It's about lives, homes, and livelihoods."