Meeting with Governors on 2021 Wildfires

Fri, 30 Jul 2021 15:45:00 GMT

The President and The Vice President meet with Governors to discuss ongoing efforts to strengthen wildfire prevention, preparedness and response efforts, and hear firsthand about the ongoing impacts of the 2021 wildfire season, which are growing more severe.

From CNN:
The virtual meeting will last an hour with governors whose states are experiencing wildfires and drought: Govs. Greg Gianforte of Montana, Jay Inslee of Washington, Gavin Newsom of California, Brad Little of Idaho, Kate Brown of Oregon, Tim Walz of Minnesota and Mark Gordon of Wyoming.

Biden and Harris will discuss efforts to strengthen wildfire prevention, preparedness, mitigation and response efforts, and will hear how an early and severe wildfire season is impacting residents and land in the states. The group is also expected to discuss funding and investing in wildland firefighters, including increasing pay for federal firefighters who are battling blazes, and extending hiring for temporary firefighters.

The White House on Friday will also announce two new interagency working groups pointed at the impact wildfires and extreme heat. Biden’s National Climate Task force, which is chaired by National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy, will announce a Wildfire Resilience Interagency Working Group, and an Extreme Heat Interagency Working Group.

The Wildfire Resilience Interagency Group will be chaired by US Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, while the Extreme Heat Interagency Working Group will be chaired by Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Administrator Dr. Richard Spinrad, and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan. There are 82 large fires burning in the West this week. Around 3.4 million acres have been burned in wildfires so far this year.