Idaho’s state Land Board voted 5-0 today to boost the state's wildfire protection budget by 10 percent for the 2016 fire season, following one of the state's worst fire seasons on record in 2015. The additional $917,022 supplemental appropriation request, which also includes adding the equivalent of 3.3 full-time staff positions, would add resources aimed at preventing small fires from getting big and keeping firefighters available during wildfire seasons that experts say are lasting longer.
Gov. Butch Otter, who normally abstains from Land Board votes on budget requests, joined in the vote, saying he thought the issue was so important that he should weigh in. "This has a lot more to do with prevention and early initial attack," he told the AP after the meeting. You can read a full report here from AP reporter Keith Ridler.