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Congressman Blake Moore Introduces Wildfire Mitigation Bill

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Kyle Maguire/KPCW
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Utah Congressman Blake Moore introduced legislation aimed at addressing staffing shortages at the Forest Service and mitigating wildfire risk Wednesday.

 

Moore represents Utah’s 1st Congressional District and Summit County in the House of Representatives and announced the legislation late Wednesday.

 

The “Save Our Forests” act is a joint effort between Moore, a Republican, and Democratic California Congressman Jimmy Panetta. The bill is aimed at addressing staffing shortages at the U.S. Forest Service and improving wildfire mitigation and response measures.

 

If passed, the bill would appropriate $46 million over the next two fiscal years to address these issues.

 

Congressman Moore said “As fires continue to threaten our communities and natural resources, we must act to improve our ability to effectively manage these forests to ensure their health and longevity.”

 

The Summit Land Conservancy also weighed in on the legislation, saying the bill “provides the essential staffing to manage and maintain these important natural resources.” 

 

The western U.S. has been hit hard by wildfire this summer. The Wasatch Back fought the Parleys Canyon Fire in August that burned over 500 acres near Summit Park and forced the evacuation of thousands of residents before it was under control. Massive wildfires in California have also blown smoke into Utah, at one point giving Salt Lake City the worst air quality of any city in the world in August.