wildfires

U.S. House passes major wildfire and drought package

BY: - August 3, 2022

The U.S. House last week approved, 218-199, a massive package of bills to address the growing threat of wildfire and drought in the West. The measure includes 49 standalone bills from both Democrats and Republicans. It includes provisions to make permanent an increase in wildland firefighter pay, lift a cap on the federal cost share for […]

Interior to launch mental health program for wildland firefighters, boost wildfire spending

BY: - June 20, 2022

The U.S. Interior Department will create a health and wellbeing program for wildland firefighters and boost spending on firefighting efforts by $103 million in fiscal 2022, the department said in an exclusive to States Newsroom on Friday. The additional funding, to be announced in Boise, Idaho, by Secretary Deb Haaland, comes as part of the $1.5 […]

Summer hurricanes, wildfires and storms loom as FEMA faces pressure to step up

BY: - May 25, 2022

WASHINGTON — Another grueling summer disaster season is arriving, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency is under intense pressure even as its portfolio balloons, it pleads for more money from Congress and criticism comes on several fronts. The agency manages more than 300 disaster declarations a year, a dramatic increase from the average of 108 […]

U.S. House vote to expand federal firefighters benefits seen as step toward parity

BY: - May 17, 2022

WASHINGTON – Years after firefighters extinguish a blaze, after the smoke has lifted and ashes have cooled, the people who risked their lives to contain the fire face another danger: cancer and cardiovascular disease resulting from exposure to smoke and heat. Government and academic studies have shown firefighters are 9% more likely to develop cancer and 14% […]

Forest Service in ‘paradigm shift’ to use logging, controlled burns to prevent wildfires

BY: - January 19, 2022

The Biden administration will use $3 billion from last year’s infrastructure law to revamp the federal approach to wildfire management, introducing a 10-year plan to deal with the large swaths of the West scientists consider most at risk of destructive blazes. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, a former Iowa governor, announced the new strategy in Phoenix, […]

Climate funds in infrastructure bill aimed at drought, wildfires, floods, Interior says

BY: - November 11, 2021

The recently passed bipartisan infrastructure bill isn’t just about roads and bridges — it also spends billions to address wildfire, drought, flooding and other effects from climate change, Interior Department officials said Wednesday. The $1.2 trillion measure, which is awaiting President Joe Biden’s signature after the House cleared it last week, includes pay raises for wildland […]

Wildfire responders urge Congress to improve disaster aid process for at-risk communities

BY: - October 28, 2021

WASHINGTON —  The federal government should re-examine its emergency response systems to better assist communities at risk from the growing threats of wildfire, state and local wildfire responders told members of Congress Tuesday. Wildfires across the United States have become larger, more intense and longer-lasting  this century in part due to changes in the global […]

White House seeks at least $24B to aid states struck by hurricanes, wildfires

BY: - September 8, 2021

WASHINGTON — The White House is urging Congress to approve at least $24 billion — and likely more — for disaster relief costs, saying that the aid should be included in a short-term spending bill expected this month. That tally includes $14 billion for recovery costs related to extreme weather events including hurricanes, floods and wildfires during the last […]

New funding to curb wildfires pushed in Congress, as another fire season looms

BY: - April 30, 2021

WASHINGTON — As wildfires across the United States grow in size, intensity and duration each summer,  members of Congress from the West are pushing for massive new investments in ecosystem management and wildfire mitigation. House lawmakers called for more attention to wildfire management and support for wildland firefighters at a hearing Thursday before a House […]