LaMalfa, Stanton’s bill to help wildfire recovery efforts passed out of T&I Committee

Congressmen Doug LaMalfa and Greg Stanton’s legislation, H.R. 7070, the Wildfire Response Improvement Act, was passed out of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

Local resident Jacqui Henry asks Congressman Doug LaMalfa a question during a Town Hall meeting at Jensen Hall.

It is now eligible to be voted on the House floor.

H.R. 7070 directs the Federal Emergency Management Agency to update its regulations and guidance for the Fire Management Assistance Grant, Public Assistance, and mitigation programs to better respond to the unique challenges of wildfires and improve wildfire mitigation—including debris removal, emergency protective measures and impacts to drinking water resources. The bill would also improve FEMA’s benefit cost analysis for wildfire mitigation projects to help them be more competitive for federal funding.

Today, federal support for fighting wildfires ends as soon as the fire is extinguished. But post-fire risks are immense: burn scars from the blazes can lead to life-threatening mudslides and flooding, which create serious public safety risks and can cause significant property damage. Currently, state and local governments must bear the entire cost of post-fire expenses.

“Northern California is no stranger to devastating wildfires,” LaMalfa said. “Many towns, businesses and residents are still struggling to rebuild from wildfire destruction that happened years ago, and this bipartisan bill will greatly help improve the recovery process and help those impacted rebuild. Our rural counties struggle to get by financially already and adding disaster recovery to their long list of costs put basic services like police, fire, and roads at risk. I thank Congressman Stanton for working with me on this and for Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Sam Graves for moving it quickly through the committee.”

“I want to thank Congressman LaMalfa for his leadership on this bill to ensure the FEMA appropriately considers wildfire mitigation measures, which will both save lives and reduce future costs of wildfire disasters in Northern California and across the country,” said Sam Graves, Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

“As we enter another dangerous fire season under historic drought conditions, it’s more important than ever that the federal government supports our communities as they respond to and recover from disasters,” Stanton said. “Our bipartisan bill will directly help state and local governments respond to wildfires, and I’m grateful for my colleagues’ strong support.”

Endorsements include:
The American Council of Engineering Companies, The American Society of Civil Engineers, The American Society of Landscape Architects, Big City Emergency Managers, BuildStrong America, The Geos Institute, The International Association of Emergency Managers, The International Association of Fire Chiefs, The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, The National Association of Counties, The National Emergency Management Association, The National League of Cities, The National Recreation and Park Association, The Nature Conservancy and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

About Doug LaMalfa
Congressman Doug LaMalfa is a lifelong farmer representing California’s First Congressional District, including Lassen, Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Modoc, Shasta, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama and Yuba counties.