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Obama to propose funding changes for wildfires.

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avatar Obama to propose funding changes for wildfires.
February 23, 2014 02:13PM
He wants to have them treated like hurricanes, and tornadoes.

Here's the story.

A quote: The proposal will ask Congress to pay the costs of fighting extreme wildfires in the same way it finances the federal response to disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes, the officials said. When unpredictable events like Hurricane Sandy are destructive enough to be declared disasters by the president, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is authorized to exceed its annual budget and draw on a special disaster account. The account is adjusted each year to reflect the 10-year average cost of responding to such events.

Mr. Obama’s budget proposal would create a similar exception for the Interior and Agriculture Departments, which have agencies that are responsible for wildfire response. In recent years, as wildfires have become more frequent and intense in the Western United States, the cost of fighting the fires has soared.
Re: Obama to propose funding changes for wildfires.
February 27, 2014 10:38AM
This is a HUGE, positive step.

What currently happens, is that when a big fire hits, and it goes beyond the local forest budget, the rest of that forest's budget for other things is gutted, then surrounding forests and the region's budget is gutted.

That translates into putting off any infrastructure expenses, replacement hires of permanent employees, early lay-off of seasonal employees or bring them on late (if at all). It creates chaos and disruption, every time.

Under this new plan, the forests would remain intact.
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