Fire season cost Cal Fire half their budget meanwhile Dinuba fire gets a boost to theirs

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$699 million is the price tag Cal Fire has to pay so far for this year's fire season. (KFSN)

Cal Fire has had to pay $699 million so far for this year's fire season.

"The fire seasons today are on average 75 days longer than they were. That means we have to change our mindset, and that's one of the reasons that we've invested so much additional money,' said Daniel Berlant, Cal Fire Assistant Deputy.

Cal Fire has $1.8 billion in their budget, but so far they have already gone through half of that with six months still to go in their fiscal year. That amount is more than they have spent in the last four years. To protect themselves in situations like this they have put away an emergency fund.

"Additional money that may have been initially budgeted, is put into that emergency fund, so we never get to a point in fighting a fire where we don't have the money and resources," said Berlant.

While Cal Fire works to keep their budget in check the Dinuba Fire Department is getting a boost to theirs. After applying for the Assistance for Firefighters Grant four years in a row, Dinuba fire was finally awarded close to $200,000 to replace their old self-contained breathing apparatuses or SCBA's

"It is like an air tank backpack and that is what has the air that we breath when we go inside fires," said Captain Jordan Webster with the Dinuba fir Department.

Currently, most of the fire departments SCBA's are outdated and some of them are even out of service. Through the grant, all 26 SCBA's will be replaced. The fire department has been trying to replace them for years, but due to financial constraints, they have been putting it off until now.

"It is extremely important, I mean that is one of the most important pieces of equipment that we have," said Webster.

The Dinuba Fire Department will be receiving their new gear in six to 10 weeks.
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