Washington, DC – The U.S. Senate today approved a resolution introduced by Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer (both D-Calif.) honoring the firefighters and emergency workers who fought wildfires in California in 2008.
“The people of California have seen our state scorched by more than 10,000 wildfires this year, and each new blaze brings another demonstration of the courage of the firefighters and emergency workers who come to our aid,” Senator Feinstein said.
“This year, firefighters from around the world fought fires in California, and tragically, 14 firefighters lost their lives. I know I speak for all Californians when I say we are thankful and deeply appreciative of their valiant service.”
Senator Boxer said, “The people of California owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the brave men and women who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in responding to the fires in our state over the last year. Over and over again, they put their lives on the line on behalf of our communities, and we are truly grateful.”
Following is the text of the resolution:
Whereas, in 2008, there have been more than 10,000 wildfires in California started by natural causes and human activity;
Whereas more than 1,440,000 acres of Federal, State, and local land in California burned in 2008;
Whereas, in June 2008, fires started by lightning strikes burned approximately 1,200,000 acres of Federal, State, and local land in California, making the June fires the largest single wildfire event in California’s recorded history;
Whereas 41 counties across California were impacted by wildfires in 2008;
Whereas more than 1,400 homes were destroyed by fires in California in 2008;
Whereas State and local firefighters have been called to duty for increasingly long fire seasons, working on the front lines of these fires for weeks;
Whereas firefighters have risked their lives and endured great hardship to protect lives, property, and the environment in California;
Whereas many firefighters were injured and 14 firefighters tragically lost their lives in California in 2008;
Whereas 25,000 firefighters and emergency response personnel from California, 41 other States, and other nations worked side-by-side to fight the wildfires;
Whereas members of the National Guard from California and other States provided essential support to the firefighting effort; and
Whereas the people of California and the United States recognize the steadfast dedication of the firefighters throughout the ongoing fire suppression and subsequent repair and rebuilding efforts: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate—
- commends the firefighters and emergency workers from California, 41 other States, and other nations for their courageous actions and sacrifices in fighting wildfires in California;
- supports the continued work of firefighters to protect National Forest System land, other public lands, and private property from further damage;
- praises the people of California for their great courage in the face of the fires; and
- extends heartfelt sympathy to the people who have lost loved ones, homes, and businesses in the wildfires.