Dec 15 2021
Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today applauded inclusion of a provision in the defense authorization bill to extend the National Guard’s FireGuard Program in California through the end of fiscal year 2026. The bill has been approved by the Senate and House and now awaits President Biden’s signature.
FireGuard is a critical tool that helps detect new wildfires faster and allows firefighters and firefighting agencies to better assess real-time situations so they can protect property and save lives.
“The ability to track wildfires in real-time using location data from the FireGuard program is absolutely critical to making sure California’s wildland firefighters are deployed wisely and efficiently,” Feinstein said.
“By extending FireGuard for five years, Congress has ensured that vital information will continue to be available to firefighters as they combat larger, hotter and increasingly destructive wildfires throughout California and the West amid the worsening effects of climate change. I’m glad to support this important program and thankful that it was included in this bill.”
The National Guard in 2019 established the FireGuard pilot program, which uses the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s Firefly capability to improve and expand information sharing with wildland firefighting agencies. Senator Feinstein led a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in August requesting an extension of the program. In response, the department had agreed to extend the FireGuard program through the end of fiscal year 2022.