Aggie Creek Fire, Alaska Pipeline, 2015. Photo: Philip Spor.
Congress' lack of long term wildfire funding has left USDA Secretary Vilsack "deeply disappointed."
Vilsack shared his disappointed with congressional appropriators from both parties in both chambers. The $1.1 trillion bill did contain the base funding requested in President Obama’s budget in February as well as “modest” new funds for fire suppression, hazardous fuel reduction and forest management work, Vilsack acknowledged. But missing was a long-term funding plan that also contained management reforms that had been prepared by a bipartisan and bicameral set of members. The extra $600 million appropriated would not have covered suppression costs in 2015. Read more here. And here.