Governor says drought requires more wildfire prevention cash

PHOENIX - An exceptionally dry winter has prompted Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey to ask the Legislature to boost funding for fire prevention efforts in the coming budget year.    

Ducey's office announced Wednesday it wants funding to remove brush and other dangerous fuels doubled because the ongoing drought has vastly increased wildfire risk. He had asked for $1 million but wants that brought to $2 million.    

The current year's $1 million wasn't completely spent, but Ducey is pushing the state Forestry and Fire Management Department to use all of the new funding.    

Ducey's office says it also has identified $640,000 in federal cash for timber thinning project preparation.    

Rainfall this winter is the 4th lowest on record in Phoenix, and the U.S. Drought Monitor shows the entire state is in drought.

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