White House Moves Funds for Wildfires

Ag Department notes “substantial challenges” to fire budget

Fire seasons in the West can last more than two months longer than they did three decades ago. (NPS Climate Change Response/Flickr)
Photo: NPS Climate Change Response/Flickr

The White House will dedicate an additional $110 million to firefighting efforts to help combat the effects of the drought in the West, according to a fact sheet released on Friday.

The White House’s newly committed funding comes on top of the $190 million the federal government already allotted to ease the drought’s effects on the West’s rural communities—especially farmers. The Department of Agriculture says it will need $1.2 billion in relief for livestock farmers whose grazing pastures have been hit by drought, according to the fact sheet, but it’s unclear if this will be enough.

“We have substantial challenges related to our fire budget,” Robert Bonnie, the department’s undersecretary for natural resources and the environment, told the Washington Post, describing fire seasons in the West as “about 60 to 80 days longer than they were three decades ago.”

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