Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Dan Newhouse and Executive Vice Chair Doug LaMalfa released the following statements in response to recommendations by the Wildland Fire Mitigation and Management Commission in their report released yesterday.
“This report highlights what we already know, we must take a proactive approach in combatting catastrophic wildfires,” said Newhouse. “It’s time for Congress to take immediate action by empowering local officials with the tools and resources they need to prevent and combat wildfires plaguing their communities.”
“Our fires are getting bigger, hotter and more aggressive than ever before,” LaMalfa said. “Today, fire seasons routinely destroy more than 8 million acres annually, and in the last 10 years three fire seasons have consumed more than 10 million acres. Our forests are so overgrown and dry that they’ve turned into a tinderbox, one spark away from erupting in flames. Residents in my district, Western Caucus and the Wildland Fire Commission know what needs to be done. We must remove the barriers that bar active forest management to minimize the risk of wildfire.”