LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Arkansas Forestry Commission wants legislators to approve a $1.9 million budget hike next year so it can restore 20 positions that were cut after the agency ran into financial trouble.
State Forester Joe Fox told a legislative committee Thursday that 13 of the 20 positions would be for firefighters.
The Southwest Times Record reports that Fox wants to be able to send out firefighters in relief of those who need a rest.
Fox told legislators the commission is $100,000 over budget for air tankers it has been using to fight wildfires. The agency hadn't expected to need the air support until August. Some money would go toward maintenance.
The agency ran into financial trouble after officials revealed the commission was borrowing from federal grant money to keep operating.
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