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Obama's budget to include proposal for changes the way the government pays to fight wildfires

WASHINGTON - A White House official says President Barack Obama is proposing a major change in the way the government pays to fight wildfires.

The proposal would allow federal agencies to draw on a special disaster account when the cost of fighting wildfires exceeds their annual budget. That's the same way the federal government funds its response to other natural disasters.

The funding change proposal will be included in the budget Obama will send to Congress next month. Obama plans to discuss the proposal Monday during a meeting with governors from states impacted by wildfires and drought.

The official was not authorized to discuss the details publicly by name and insisted on anonymity. The proposal was first reported by The New York Times.

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