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. 

An aide holds a copy of the President's Budget for 2021, as Office of Management and Budget Acting Director Russell Vought testifies during a hearing of the House Budget Committee about President Trump's budget for Fiscal Year 2021, on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
An aide holds a copy of the President's Budget for 2021, as Office of Management and Budget Acting Director Russell Vought testifies during a hearing of the House Budget Committee about President Trump's budget for Fiscal Year 2021, on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

"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.

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