California governor signs order to reduce wildfire danger
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown has signed an executive order that aims to reduce the dangers of wildfires following some of the deadliest and most destructive blazes in state history.
Thursday’s order would accelerate forest management procedures such as thinning dense stands of trees and setting controlled fires to burn out brush. Brown wants to double the forest area managed by such practices to 500,000 acres (781 square miles).
Brown’s latest budget revision, due out Friday, will include $96 million to support such efforts.
Eight of California’s most destructive fires have occurred in the past four years. The Thomas Fire last December burned 282,000 acres (440 square miles) in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.
A complex of Northern California fires last October killed more than 40 people and destroyed thousands of homes.