Gov. Brown warns of long and severe fire season

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SAN DIEGO — As flames tore through a swath of San Diego County from 4S Ranch to Rancho Santa Fe, Gov. Jerry Brown Tuesday urged Californians to prepare for what could be a long and severe fire season.

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PHOTOS: Bernardo Fire

“Fire season, first of all, is starting much earlier and will last much longer,” Brown said at a San Diego news conference to tout revisions to his proposed state budget.

“Citizens should take fire danger very seriously, listen to alerts in the media and follow directions,” he said. “When people say evacuate, don’t wait — be sensible.”

Fire season is lasting much longer than it used to, historically, due to climate change, according to the governor.

He used the press event to caution legislators from spending too much money now that the state is on a firmer financial footing.

“That’s another reason why we want to restrain spending, because there’s going to be a lot of unexpected catastrophes — disasters,” Brown said.

According to the governor’s office, the budget proposal before the Legislature increases spending for Cal Fire by $54 million over the current fiscal year. The state firefighting agency can also tap into an emergency fund, if necessary.

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