Sanford looks to cut wildfire fighting budget

COLUMBIA, SC (AP) - Gov. Mark Sanford is not backing down from his proposal to trim $1 million in state spending from wildfire fighting, even as damages mount in a fire near Myrtle Beach.

Sanford spokesman Joel Sawyer said Friday that a fee on homeowners' insurance policies for firefighter training is working and an additional fee would work for forest fire protection, too.

But one of Sanford's top allies is backing away from plans to cut money for wildfire fighting.

Sen. Tom Davis of Beaufort said Friday he's dropping the cuts from a spending plan he's been trying to win support for this week.

The Forestry Commission has suffered with other agencies in state budget cuts. It has lost a fifth of its budget in the past year. The agency warned in an August letter that the cuts were putting property and firefighters at risk.

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