Photo shared by Jeremy Oberstein Government Affairs Director, LAFD
Nine senators reintroduced a bipartisan bill on US Senate floor; “The Wildfire Disaster Funding Act of 2017.” The nine bipartisan sponsors of the bill include Senators Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, Maria Cantwell, D-Washington, Orin Hatch R-Utah, Dianne Feinstein, D-California, Jim Risch, R-Idaho, Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, Cory Gardner, R-Colorado, and Michael Bennet, D-Colorado.
This bill will address; providing disaster funding for extremely large fires, helping to reduce the need to borrow from the prevention and conservation funds, and is looking at preventing the erosion of agency budgets resulting from increased suppression costs.
Record-setting suppression costs have again seen budgets strained, especially out by wildfires out west. According to news reports in the last couple of weeks, the US Forest Service had to transfer $300 million dollars from other budgets just to meet current fire suppression needs. This bill is similar to the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act of 2015 which was not voted on in 2015.