Obama Administration Pushing For Firefighting Funds

The East Peak Fire near Walsenburg was one of several major wildfires in the state of Colorado in summer 2013.
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The Obama administration is pushing Congress to ensure enough money is available to fight wildfires.

The pressure is coming as California recovers from a spate of fires in San Diego County and other states brace for a hot, dry summer.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack intends to appear Tuesday in Denver to discuss 2015 budget proposals that call for annual spending to equal 70 percent of the estimated 10-year average firefighting cost. His plan also calls for an additional $954 million disaster funding pool.

In the past, when firefighting funds have run out, money has been borrowed from fire-prevention programs.

Vilsack also intends to announce prevention measures to help 94 national forest areas in 35 states address insects and disease that turn trees into tender.