Reports: Obama wants to shift wildfire funding

President Obama is reportedly planning to shift how the federal government pays to combat wildfires.

ADVERTISEMENT
The New York Times reported on Sunday that in his next budget proposal, the president will ask Congress to finance the federal response to wildfires in the same way Washington responds to disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes.

The newspaper reported that Obama plans to bring up the proposal with Western state governors at a meeting on Monday.

When large storms strike the United States, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is allowed to draw on a special disaster fund outside of its annual budget if needed to pay for recovery efforts. Under Obama’s budget proposal, the Interior and Agriculture departments would draw money from a similar special fund to fight wildfires.

A White House official told the Associated Press that “the new approach was aimed at providing more certainty for agencies fighting fires.”