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California Plans $536 Million For Forests Before Fire Season

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California plans to authorize $536 million for wildfire mitigation and forest management projects before the worst of the fire season strikes later this year. Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders said Thursday that they intend to add the money to this fiscal year’s budget before considering even more in the new spending plan that takes effect July 1. Advocates say the spending will more than double $200 million in recent annual spending. State officials are rushing to thin forests, build fuel breaks around vulnerable communities and allow for planned burns before a dry winter turns into a tinder-dry summer. Last year’s record-setting wildfire season charred more than 4% of the state.