SAN DIEGO—California's local fire officials are scrambling after the state borrowed millions of dollars in property taxes to help close the state's $26 billion deficit.
Officials say they will raid reserves and limit non-emergency services to cover the 8 percent loss.
Sheldon Gilbert, president of the California Fire Chiefs Association, says "the whole system is stressed" because the state borrowed $2 billion in local property taxes.
The shift comes as the state enters the height of wildfire season after three dry winters.
Shaky fire districts can borrow against the state's eventual repayments under a new law. But many local fire chiefs say borrowing would just put their districts deeper in a financial hole.