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Times of Urgent Need ”: White House Assembles Western Governors Ahead of Wildfire Season

President Joe Biden brings together western state governors, senior cabinet officials and the private sector to discuss how the country can prepare for what is likely to be a severe forest fire season.
The government stands ready to implement a number of new measures aimed at strengthening the country’s response to forest fires, including increasing the pay of firefighters and transferring resources to better fight forest fires year-round.
As climate change makes many western states drier and more susceptible to forest fires, officials are also investigating how infrastructure can be made more resilient and other preventive measures in place.
WASHINGTON – As western states weather a record heat wave, President Joe Biden will convene a meeting of governors, private sector partners and cabinet officials on Wednesday to prepare for the upcoming forest fire season.

Biden intends to ask governors what immediate resources the federal government can provide to tackle the upcoming forest fire season, according to a senior civil servant. The President is also immediately ready to step up measures to prevent and fight forest fires.

According to the senior official, the government will release guidelines aimed at increasing forest fire containment while increasing the community’s resilience to fires if they occur.

In the 2020 forest fire season, more than 10 million hectares were burned and dozens of people died in the disasters. As communities adjust to the reality of increasingly devastating forest fires, lawmakers seek solutions that can avoid the worst of the new normal.

The new measures include an increase in satellite detection systems and better coordination of the localization of emergency resources by the administration in fire-prone regions.

The government also plans to permanently shift resources to fighting forest fires as fires break out in some regions for most of the year, the senior adviser said.

Many of the containment efforts are unlikely to be implemented at the beginning of the forest fire season, which begins July 24th. However, administrative officials claim immediate response efforts will help contain the worst effects of the forest fires this year as state and federal actors prepare. for the new paradigm around forest fires.

Biden intends to focus on “how the federal government can improve forest fire preparedness and response, protect public safety and help our people in times of urgent need,” said the House Press Secretary. Blanca, Jen Psaki, at a news conference on Friday.

Biden and administrators also highlight the $ 47 billion allocated to building resilient infrastructure in a recently negotiated bipartisan infrastructure deal as a key step in tackling increasingly common natural disasters caused by climate change such as forest fires.

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Commenting on the advertisement for his infrastructure package in La Crosse, Wisconsin, Biden argued that the package would “prepare the country’s infrastructure for forest fires, floods and other extreme weather conditions”. The president also mocked those who deny the role of climate change in the country’s changing weather patterns.

“It’s 116 degrees in Portland, Oregon,” said Biden. “One hundred and sixteen degrees! But don’t worry, there is no global warming. It doesn’t exist, it is the product of our imagination.

Governors meet with the president
The White House meeting will also bring together governors from western states that have seen wildfires worsen within their borders in recent years.

The virtual meeting takes place in connection with the annual conference of the Western Governors Association, which deals with environmental and energy policy in the western states. The group of seven, made up of five Democrats and two Republicans, includes:

1. Kate Brown from Oregon
2 Spencer Cox of Utah
3. Mark Gordon from Wyoming
4 Michelle Lujan Grisham from Nuevo M

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