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SAN FRANCISCO - A billionaire investor who has pledged to spend tens of millions of dollars targeting Republicans who reject climate change is now creating a fund to help victims of extreme weather disasters, starting with wildfires in the American West.

Tom Steyer on Friday launched the Climate Disaster Relief Fund, which will draw on personal profits from his investments in energy giant Kinder Morgan.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports (http://bit.ly/1mjyNQR) that Steyer will kick off the fund with a $2 million gift.

Steyer's group, NextGen Climate, said in a statement that firefighters and nurses on the front lines of disasters will be among the first to receive money from the relief fund. The statement did not elaborate.

Steyer says climate change leads to warming temperatures, drought and insect outbreaks, which exacerbate costly wildfires.

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