Western Wildfire Funding

Western Wildfire Funding

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
From the Ag Information Network, I’m Bob Larson. The USDA is taking steps to combat Western U.S. wildfires by investing $500 million to expand work on the Forest Service’s Wildfire Crisis Strategy.

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says the goal is to reduce the risk of wildfires for communities, critical infrastructure, and natural resources …

VILSACK … “In those landscapes, there are roughly 250 fire-sheds for investment. We fortunately received a historic down payment and investment in forest health.”

The investments include $400 million from the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds for 21 priority landscapes.

He says the investments are going to protect a lot of people around the country …

VILSACK … “All told, the investments that we’ve made to date are providing greater security for 550 communities that interface with these forested areas, 1,800 watersheds, and 2,500 miles of power lines are better protected and will be better protected as a result of the investments we’ve made and will continue to make.”

Vilsack says the money they’ve spent to prevent wildfires has already exceeded the goals they set …

VILSACK … “With these resources, we have over the course of the last several years exceeded targets for treatment in hazardous fuel reduction. In fact, we had a record amount of acres treated and a record number of acres involved in prescribed burns.”

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack.

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