Newsom, fire-affected communities, conservation groups endorse Feinstein wildfire bill

Senator Dianne Feinstein today released a list of endorsements for the Emergency Wildfire and Public Safety Act, a bipartisan bill Feinstein introduced with Steve Daines to help protect communities from catastrophic wildfire.

The bill would implement wildfire mitigation projects, sustain healthier forests that are more resilient to climate change and provide important energy and retrofitting assistance to businesses and residences to mitigate future risks from wildfire.

The bill will be considered by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Sept. 16.

“Six of the 20 largest wildfires in California history have burned this year,” said Feinstein. “It’s clear that unprecedented fire seasons are becoming our new normal. Our approach to fighting these fires – and doing a better job at preventing them from growing out of control – must adapt, and adapt quickly.

“We have to clear dead and dying trees that fuel the spread of these infernos. We have to do a better job of fireproofing homes and communities. And we have to better prepare for power shutoffs that are increasingly necessary during high winds. The longer we wait to make these changes, the harder and more devastating these fire seasons will be.

“I’m pleased to see so many organizations and public figures have endorsed this bill and are ready to do what it takes to better protect our communities and save lives.”

California Governor Gavin Newsom said, “The Emergency Wildfire and Public Safety Act of 2020 would bolster the state’s emergency response to wildfires burning in California and support impacted residents across the state by advancing needed fire resilience efforts.

“I am pleased that this legislation would also strengthen our recently secured partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and other federal agencies in addressing the risk of wildfires and improving the health and resilience of our forests and communities statewide.”