Rep Ryan Zinke Statement on USFS Wildfire Funding Gap
Today, Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke responded to news that the U.S. Forest Service is transferring an additional $250 million of funding from non-fire accounts to firefighting cover costs through the end of the Fiscal Year. This is part of a total of $700 million that been transferred since August.
“Sadly, I am not surprised to hear the Forest Service has to transfer another quarter billion dollars to cover the exorbitant costs of firefighting. But what’s more upsetting is the fact that I’ve voted for and the House has passed a law that would permanently solve the wildfire borrowing problem by allowing FEMA to pay for wildfires the same way it pays for other natural disasters,” said Rep. Zinke. “This wildfire season has been one of the worst Montana and the west has seen in years. Fire fighters, rangers, resources, our forests themselves, and now our budgets have been pushed to their breaking points.
Congressman Zinke is echoing ideals proffered earlier in the week by other agencies offered here. It matters not who had the idea where money comes from to fight fires, but let us fight fire and then figure out who pays for it.