USDA Directs Money to Wildfire Mitigation in High Risk Areas

USDA Directs Money to Wildfire Mitigation in High Risk Areas

Lorrie Boyer
Lorrie Boyer
USDA is investing a half billion dollars to expand efforts to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires. USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack-

“This will continue our work in terms of hazardous fuel reduction of prescribers and other treatments and money is intended to help 21 high-risk areas of the US protect themselves against wildfires, part of the $500 million investment will be for a new program. This is allowing us to begin to expand beyond the 21 priority areas into areas which we refer to as the wildland-urban interface or GUI. And this is going to allow us to help build local capacity to provide tools and resources so that we can provide those communities with assistance and help to reduce the risk of fire.”

Secretary Vilsack says the effort will help to protect communities.

“The return on investment is safer communities, it's protected watersheds, it's miles of power lines that are under less risk.”

Another benefit is that products that are removed from the forest in the name of wildfire mitigation can be used to make other products.

“And obviously, hopefully, an opportunity for (for) this hazardous building to use in a positive and proactive way.”

But, he says projects like this don't happen overnight. He has in hopes that Congress will continue to fund catastrophic wildfire risk and community protection programs.

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