Will the 2017 fire season’s cost and calamities be enough to provoke change in how the U.S. Congress funds wildland firefighting?
Several Western senators believe it should be, as does Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.
In a late-September briefing, Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo declared: “We have a crisis occurring now. We need to come together and say, ‘No more waiting – it needs to be on the next bill.’ ”
That could mean attaching a new national wildfire funding system to a hurricane relief bill for Puerto Rico, or incorporating it into the reauthorization bill for the federal flood insurance program. [Read more…]