Senate rejects amendment to fully fund wildland firefighting

Colo. Democrat criticizes his colleagues for not supporting firefighting

The Associated Press

DENVER — U.S. Sen. Mark Udall is criticizing his colleagues' rejection of an amendment he says would have fully funded the Forest Service's Wildland Fire Management Account ahead of next year's wildfire season.

The Colorado Democrat, who is from Eldorado Springs, says the amendment to the Supplemental Appropriation for Disaster Assistance would have restored $653 million to the account, which pays for wildland fire preparedness, suppression, research and state fire assistance. The legislation was rejected Friday.

Udall, who introduced the amendment with U.S. Sen. Jon Tester of Montana, says the funds would have helped the Forest Service prevent and fight wildfires next year.

Colorado experienced two of its most destructive wildfires this past summer.

The Waldo Canyon Fire destroyed 346 homes in Colorado Springs, and the High Park Fire west of Fort Collins destroyed 259 homes.

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