REDDING, Calif. -- The California agency that fights wildfires says it's about to exceed its budget and needs $234 million more.
Cal Fire director Ken Pimlott says in a letter to lawmakers Thursday that the agency spent $432 million through the end of August and had only about $11 million left.
Fire season generally picks up in fall, when winds and high temperatures can combine with dried-out forest and grasslands to create dangerous conditions.
Pimlott says Cal Fire would use some of the money to add firefighters and helicopters.
The Legislature budgets for firefighting based on the historical average costs. Cal Fire has requested extra money in seven of the past 10 years, but never this early.