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Other Budget Issues

Last Updated: 1/20/2011
Budget Issue: Staffing levels on CalFire fire engines
Program: Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
Finding or Recommendation: Approve Governor's January budget proposal to create $30.7 million in 2011-12 General Fund savings in CalFire from eliminating funding in CalFire for the fourth firefighter on CalFire fire engines. This returns the department to the pre-2003 level of per-engine staffing.
Further Detail

In a prior-year's budget analysis, we rejected a funding proposal to increase staffing levels from three to four per engine statewide on the basis that the department had not demonstrated that this level of increased staffing is cost-effective. In support of his proposed budget solution, the Governor makes a similiar assessment, finding that the action to increase staffing levels from three to four firefighters per engine during peak fire season had not measurably changed the department's initial attack effectiveness. We note that the Governor retains the authority, by executive order, to implement four-person staffing during fire seasons of unusual risk or danger.