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ANALYSIS: California's waterbomber fleet is matched only by its wildfire problem

California is a US state known for its big-budget movies and wine, but also scorching droughts and massive wildfires. It expends more money and resources combating wildfires than any other state in America, with its annual firefighting budget peaking at $524 million in the 2007-2008 fiscal year. That year, then-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency as so-called dry thunderstorms swept through the state, sparking thousands of fires across 26 counties. Since the turn of the century, California has allocated $230 million per year, on average, to fighting fires.

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