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Washington–Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) joined Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Representative Joe Neguse (D-Colo.) and a group of their colleagues to send a letter to House and Senate leadership requesting that funds for wildfire risk mitigation and recovery efforts be included in the next COVID-19 relief package.  

Specifically, the letter calls for: 

  • Local economic relief to assist cash-strapped cities and towns originally excluded from the CARES Act in order to ensure firefighters and first responders can remain on payroll and have access to needed staff and resources; 
  • Investments in fire risk mitigation, such as establishing a 21st Century Civilian Conservation Corps to restore forest health and making investments in vital Forest Service programs that assist with forest management, such as the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program; 
  • Federal support for fire response efforts, including investments in FEMA’s Staffing For Adequate Fire And Emergency Response (SAFER) Grants, increased funds for late-season interagency hotshot crews, and increased pay and benefits for federal wildfire personnel; and 
  • Investments in fire recovery efforts to support the work being done by local, state, and federal officials to revitalize the environmental health, water quality, and economy of communities impacted by wildfires. 

The full text of the letter is available here

In addition to Feinstein, Wyden and Neguse, the letter was also signed by Senators Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), and Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.), Salud Carbajal (D-Calif.), Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Jared Huffman (D-Calif.), Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.), Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.), Tom O’Halleran (D-Ariz.), Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.), Katie Porter (D-Calif.), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.), Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) and Mike Thompson (D-Calif.).