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March 13, 2018 > California spent nearly $1.8 billion fighting major 2017 wildfires

California spent nearly $1.8 billion fighting major 2017 wildfires

By Jonathan J. Cooper

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- California state agencies spent nearly $1.8 billion fighting fierce wildfires that killed dozens of people and destroyed thousands of homes and businesses last year.

Legislative Analyst's Office officials told lawmakers on March 1 that the federal government will reimburse most of the costs, but the state will still need to come up with about $371 million. State revenue has far exceeded expectations so far this fiscal year so the general fund is flush with cash.

Nearly $1.5 billion was spent fighting fires and recovery in the North Bay in October, including debris removal and infrastructure repair. The state spent about $300 million on December fires in Southern California.

Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed spending $35 million in next year's budget to backfill lost tax revenue for local governments and repair infrastructure.

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