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Press Release: House Passes Sali’s Proposal to Protect Idaho Firefighters and Residents

April 8th, 2008 by Halli

From the office of Rep. Bill Sali

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives today approved Congressman Bill Sali’s efforts to protect firefighters who put their lives on the line for communities at risk of wildfires.

The House unanimously approved Sali’s amendment to promote firefighter safety. The amendment will improve firefighter safety by allowing the administrator of United States Fire Administration to develop and distribute information on the importance of clearing biomass from federal lands. Sali’s amendment to H.R. 4847 would facilitate the exchange of information and training between the federal agencies regarding the importance of clearing hazardous fuels from forests. The bill passed the House unanimously.

“We are fast approaching what many predict to be another deadly and costly fire season. In fact, nearly one quarter of firefighter deaths in 2006 occurred when fighting brush, grass or wildland fires. The tools provided by my amendment are vital and we must provide our federal employees all they need to keep our communities- and themselves- safe from catastrophic wildfires.

“Idaho is all too familiar with wildfire. In 2007, nearly two million acres of land burned in Idaho due to forest fires,” Sali told the House. “The way land managers apply the fuel reduction program will have the greatest impact on the safety of wildland firefighters in Idaho’s communities.”

Sali is actively working on other legislation to protect Idaho communities from wildfires. Sali introduced H.R 4245 last year, a bill that would speed up projects to reduce hazardous fuels and reduce risks from wildfire, insect damage, and disease. Such projects help protect communities and private lands adjoining federal forest lands by reducing the risks on those lands.

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