Wyden: The Federal Government Needs To Invest In Fighting Fires
Wildfires took center stage during a Senate Budget Committee hearing in Washington D.C. Wednesday. Oregon’s senior Senator stressed that more must be done on the federal level to prevent wildfires and improve the workforce tasked with battle these blazes when they start.
“These fires are not your grandfather's fires," said Senator Ron Wyden. "They are bigger, they're hotter, they're more powerful. We get them often, almost year-round, and you know when you go out to these communities as I have, I have town halls in every county in my state, Talent and Phoenix, for example they just got devastated by recent fires.”
Wyden noted that the mentality in D.C. must change, and lawmakers must acknowledge that fighting fires, properly, is now a year-round effort. He said while the issue of firefighter pay has been addressed, more needs to be done. And he said it’s imperative that the federal government ends the practice of Fire Borrowing, which he called a disgrace.
“It was bizarre even by Washington D.C. standards where the federal government would go out and borrow from the prevention fund to put the fire out and then everybody say but where's the prevention money and we stopped it we said the biggest fires are now basically going to be treated as the disasters they are."
For additional quotes from Wyden, Check Out His Video from this week's Senate Budget Committee hearing.
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