Washington • President Barack Obama's upcoming budget will include a proposal to change the way the federal government pays to fight wildfires, a White House official said Saturday.
The proposal is part of the White House's effort to ramp up its focus on what officials say are the growing impacts of climate change. The president will discuss the proposal Monday during a meeting with Western governors from states impacted by wildfires and drought.
Obama wants the Interior and Agriculture Departments, the two agencies tasked with fighting wildfires, to be able to draw funds from a special disaster account when the cost of tackling fires exceeds their annual budget. That's the same approach the federal government currently takes when responding to hurricanes and tornadoes.