State ready to bill rural fire fees for Cal Fire services

In a move many fire officials say penalizes rural fire districts and the people they serve, the state is about to begin billing more than 825,000 residents a new $150-a-year fee for Cal Fire services.

The fee is part of a year-old legislative move to offset $80 million in Cal Fire revenue cuts over the past 18 months, shifting some of the burden for wildfire suppression onto those who live in wildland areas and creating a more stable funding source.

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