California Democrat Sen. Barbara Boxer is asking for hundreds of millions of federal dollars to fight wildfires.Â
The $615 millionÂ request will help pay the costs associated with the 4,000Â wildfires fought this year, a 35 percent increase in fires with a 16 percent increase in acres burned.
Boxer hopes her colleagues will support the request.Â
"I'm asking my colleagues to support the emergency funding to address many issues, including the growing crises of wildfires," Boxer said.Â
The funding will also go to programs to reduce hazardous fire fuels.
Even with issues of climate change and an ongoing drought, Boxer fears an uphill battle.
"We are in a terrible time for our planet, we know climate change is real. We know one of the impacts of climate change is definitely drought, and wildfires and heat waves. And it just really is difficult when you know these things, yet your colleagues seem to be in denial," Boxer said.Â
Boxer adds that the request not only adds funding for this year but solves the problem of future funding by creating a Wildfire Suppression Cap Adjustment so that extraordinary fire costs are treated like other natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes.Â