California Lawmakers Push For Change On Wildfire Spending
Sacramento, CA — Some California state lawmakers have introduced a joint resolution calling for Congress to fund fighting wildfires in a similar fashion as other disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes.
The Assembly Resolution, requesting Congressional action, is authored by Republican Jim Patterson and Democrat Mike Gatto. They note that the Department of the Interior estimates that the cost to fight wildfires could go $200 million over budget this year, and there is fear it could result in suppression funds being borrowed from money set aside for fire prevention and land management projects, as has happened in years past.
Assemblyman Patterson says, “Over the last 12 years, $2.7 billion has been siphoned from fire prevention accounts, which are desperately needed to maintain the health of our national forests. HR 167 makes wildfire prevention a priority instead of an afterthought.”
The Assembly Resolution is in favor of the federally introduced HR 167, which would make catastrophic fires eligible for funding from the federal disaster budget cap adjustments, similar to hurricanes and tornadoes.