KPCC News In Brief

Fire officials don't like state borrowing revenue from counties

The state’s providing less money this year for firefighting, so public safety is more important than ever, Southern California fire officials said today as they announced a new campaign.

Los Angeles County Fire chief Mike Freeman says he’s concerned about the state’s plan to borrow property tax revenues from counties. Freeman says that even though emergency programs are a state priority, he’s responding to more emergencies these days.

Mike Freeman: “Buying equipment, buying fuel, fuel has come down but it’s still very expensive. All these things come into play, so we do have a little bit of a fallback right now. But that money is going fast and the basic principle of public funding is that you do not pay for ongoing costs with one-time monies.”

Along with chiefs from Orange County and Ventura County, Freeman supports the new regional “ready, set, go” action plan. That advises people who live in wildfire-prone areas to prepare their homes and leave early when there’s a risk.

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May 2009

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