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David Sparks Ph.D. Wildfires
by David Sparks Ph.D., click here for bio

Program: Idaho Ag Today
Date: October 03, 2017

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Republican representative Greg Walden of Oregon stood up before Congress and made a pitch that all of us in the Northwest have experienced and that is exposure to wildfires.


Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, today announced that his committee will be examining the impact wildfires have on air quality. The Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on the Environment will hold a hearing on Wednesday, October 4, 2017, at 10 a.m. The hearing is entitled, “Air Quality Impacts of Wildfires: Perspectives of Key Stakeholders,” and will be streamed live on the Energy and Commerce Committee's website here.

Considering the devastating and widespread wildfires in Oregon and throughout the West this summer, Walden’s Energy and Commerce Committee will examine the impacts these wildfires have on air quality and emissions in the affected areas and across the country. Walden will also look at how better management of our forests is needed to avoid and minimize catastrophic wildfires. For example, prescribed burns and fuel reduction are important forestry management tools in preventing uncontrolled wildfires, and the resulting air emissions.  

“Year after year, catastrophic wildfires rage on federal lands, including parts of my district, and our skies are choked with smoke throughout the West. Air quality issues in my home state continue to rise to dangerous levels because of these fires, forcing cancellations of community events, school closures, and lost tourism dollars,” said Chairman Greg Walden “Enough is enough.  It's time that decisions about when and how to fight these fires takes into account the impact they have on air quality and human health.  I’m looking forward to hearing from our panel of witnesses on what our nation can do to better prepare for, manage, and fight these fires.”

During a September 13 hearing of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Walden stressed the need for urgent action to prevent catastrophic wildfires and protect air quality in Oregon. Walden recently held a roundtable meeting with community officials and local business leaders in southern Oregon to discuss the economic impact this year’s fire season has had on the region and the state. 


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