Secretaries Vilsack and Salazar Announce Readiness for Wildfire Season
June 17, 2010
For the first time ever we’ve had both the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture and our key,
non-federal partners take the stage together
to share with all of us that common message of the shared relationship
that we enjoy for better or worse in wild land fire management.
Currently there is more than $500 million dollars available in Interior's regular wild fire suppression fund
and an additional 61 million dollars available in the FLAME account.
Those moneys are ready and available to support the firefighting effort.
So far this year, it’s been a very typical fire season.
What happens for the balance of the year is yet to be determined,
and so much of what happens for the balance of this year will be dependent on the weather that is yet to come.
So all that rainfall we had has grown a lot of grass and fine fuels in lower elevations,
so the northern half of the Great Basin, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, and those areas here,
because of all the rainfall will see increased rangeland fires at the lower elevations.
President Barack Obama and his administration early on
address these challenges through legislation that provides the additional resources needed
and funding mechanisms to assure that we have the resources to fight these catastrophic wildfires,
protect our rural communities, and restore the damaged natural resources.