WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senators Steve Daines, R-Mont., and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., are partnering up to pass the bipartisan Emergency Fire and Public Safety Act.
If passed, the bill would seek to accomplish three things:
- Set up a $100 million grant to help make harvesting trees more commercially viable and facilitate the removal of dead and dying trees which can provide fuel for fires. According to Senator Dianne Feinstein, there are more than 150 million dead trees in California forests.
- Increase the use of prescribed burns and fire breaks.
- Improve the resiliency of fire-prone communities by retrofitting homes with fire proof materials.
"We're at a critical time," says Senator Daines. "The West is burning, people are dying, the smoke is literally starting to cover our country, and our way of life as we know it is in danger. It's a time to come together, Democrats and Republicans, and pass meaningful forestry reform."
"We have to change our approach in dealing with wildfire and how we manage our forests," says Senator Feinstein. "We can't just sit here and do nothing."
The Energy and Natural Resources Committee will now wait for a two week period for anyone who would like to add supplemental materials to the record. More information on the bill can be found here.