California Governor Gavin Newsom and U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla Confer with Defense Department Officials on Wildfire Coordination Strategies

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A.D. A fire is seen on the road from the Washburn Fire in Yosemite National Park on July 7, 2022.
Credit: IncWeb

July 15, 2022 – WASHINGTON – California Governor Gavin Newsom and Senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla (both D-Calif) on Thursday met with Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks and senior White House officials at the White House to discuss increasing cooperation between the states. and the Department of Defense (DOD) to better respond to forest fires.

“As the climate crisis exacerbates the continued threat of wildfires in California, we welcome the opportunity to work closely with conservation officials to ensure the federal government is providing the necessary resources to support California’s emergency response and firefighting capabilities.” Newsom, Feinstein and Padilla said. ”Closer coordination between state and federal partners is key to effectively preparing and proactively fighting the growing wildfires.

The eight largest wildfires in California history. Happened since 2017. During this time, wildfires have burned 10 million acres of land in the state, killing nearly 200 people and destroying more than 32,000 homes.

The group discussed executive and legislative actions to better support and streamline the National Guard’s firefighting capabilities and the continued partnership between state first responders and the National Guard. The governor and senators have raised the need for aircraft for fire detection and fire control. He also noted the need to remove arbitrary limits on surplus military aircraft that the DoD can transfer at no cost to the FMA or Forest Service for firefighting efforts.

The governor and senators underscored the need for urgent action to mitigate the effects of the climate that is fueling wildfires in California and throughout the western United States. The meeting concluded with a commitment from all parties to continue cooperation between California and the Department of Defense in responding to wildfires.
Source: Senator Dianne Feinstein

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