Sep 13 2021
Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement on President Biden’s visit to California to survey damage caused by the Caldor Fire and his decision last night to elevate the disaster declaration for that wildfire:
“I applaud President Biden for visiting the Caldor Fire today. I have vivid memories of visiting Paradise after the 2018 Camp Fire and witnessing the utter devastation. It reinforces our obligation to help those affected by these fires and do all we can to prevent future catastrophes.
“I’m also thankful that President Biden elevated the disaster declaration for the Caldor Fire last night. This fire has burned more than 200,000 acres and destroyed nearly 800 homes. It’s critical that state and local agencies know federal funds are available so they can continue to use all necessary resources to prevent the Caldor Fire from further escalation. It’s also vital that we provide the help that families need to get their lives back on track.
“I’m very pleased the Biden administration is supporting efforts to increase pay for federal firefighters. With 58 percent of forestland in California owned by the federal government, we need more federal firefighters on the job and we need to pay them competitive salaries. The infrastructure bill currently being considered by the House – and already passed by the Senate – would increase salaries by as much as $20,000 per firefighter, a huge step toward eliminating this pay gap.
“These fires aren’t going to stop until we step up and take forceful action against climate change. These wildfires will get bigger and more dangerous as temperatures rise and land dries out. The United States needs to continue the course set by the administration to reduce carbon emissions. Our future depends on it.”