ENR Committee Holds Hearing on Wyden's National Prescribed Fire Act
Bill would support pre-fire season controlled burns as an essential, science-based strategy for reducing hazardous fuels to mitigate the worst effects of wildfires
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today made the case for how his National Prescribed Fire Act would reduce wildfire risks in Oregon and nationwide, during a U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on the bill and other pending legislation. Witnesses on behalf of the Biden administration voiced support for the legislation as a key tool to reduce fire risks nationwide.
"These are not your grandfather's fires. They are bigger, they are hotter, they are more powerful,” Wyden said during the hearing. “My bill gives us a chance to go in and do some of the heavy lifting in the cooler weather when you can carefully control fire, and in the process, avoid infernos that we would otherwise have when it's hot and dry in the summer.”
Wyden pointed out the success of prescribed burns in protecting central Oregon, “The reason I feel so strongly about the prescribed fire legislation is I've seen the results on the ground. Folks in central Oregon, Sisters specifically, feel that prescribed fire saved the town of Sisters. Period. Full stop.”
Wyden's National Prescribed Fire Act would support pre-fire season controlled burns as an essential, science-based strategy for reducing hazardous fuels to mitigate the worst effects of severe wildfire. The legislation would increase the pace and scale of controlled burns, create a technically skilled preseason controlled burn workforce, and give states more flexibility to regulate controlled burns in winter months to reduce catastrophic fires and dangerous smoke in the summer. Wyden introduced the bill earlier this year with U.S. Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.
For more information on the bill, click here.
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