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Senator Wyden Pushes Senators to Pass Emergency Funding to Help Fight Wildfires Before Recess


Wyden told senators wildfires are burning across the West and they are bigger, hotter and more damaging.

 

He calls them a wreckling ball, pounding the rural West.

 

"And the prospect that we could be leaving this week without this change, well, I call it legislative malpractice.  We have an opportunity with bipartisan legislation to make a real difference.  We have a a chance to spend scarce dollars wisely and in the West it's nothing short of survival."

 

Wyden says fire prevention funds are being used to fight fires instead of prevent them.  He says he saw what prevention can do in central Oregon during our recent Two Bulls fire.

 

"So my hope is we can treat hazardous fuels and do more prevention work.  And I saw with a fire in central Oregon when it reached the treated areas outside of Bend, it stopped  dead in its tracks.  I saw the difference between acres treated and areas left untreated."

 

Wyden says his bill would end the practice of "fire borrowing"  -- which happens when the Forest Service and the Interior Department are force to take money from other important programs to fund suppression efforts.


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