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California Spent Nearly $1.8B Fighting Major 2017 Wildfires

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 Thursday 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.