President's budget proposes $1B for wildland fire programs
The proposed budget includes a $50 million increase in funds to bolster the wildland fire management workforce
By Laura French
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump's recently released President's Budget Request (PBR) includes $1 billion for wildland fire programs, including a $50 million increase in funds to bolster the wildland fire management workforce and vegetation management.
The funds fall under the proposed $12.8 billion for the Department of the Interior in the fiscal year 2021.
"In 2019, we treated over 1.4 million acres, but we must recognize that the length of our fire season is getting longer; fires are large; and risks are higher," said Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt in a statement. "Therefore, we must innovate to strengthen our wildland fire and active management capability."
The $1 billion will include $227.9 million for fuels management and $368.1 million of preparedness. It also includes $384 million for wildfire suppression, which can be supplemented with additional emergency resources in the event of a severe fire season.
Trump's budget, which is currently under consideration in House committees, would also raise U.S. Fire Administration allocations to $49.7 million, a $2.9 million increase from fiscal year 2020, and would decrease AFG and SAFER grant funds from $355 million to $344.4 million.