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$250 Million boost to combat wildfires on multiple lands

$250 Million boost to combat wildfires on multiple lands

By Jamie Martin

In a significant move under President’s Investing in America agenda, the administration has announced a $250 million investment through the Community Wildfire Defense Grant program. This funding, facilitated by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will support 158 projects across 31 states, two territories, and 11 tribes.

Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Xochitl Torres Small highlighted the program's focus on developing wildfire protection plans and reducing excess vegetation that fuels large fires. This initiative is crucial as the climate crisis escalates the frequency and intensity of wildfires.

Assistant to the President and National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi emphasized the administration’s commitment to tackling climate-induced disasters, noting that over two million Americans were displaced by such events last year alone.

The funded projects include nearly $10 million for the Cherokee Nation and almost $6 million for Wasco County, Oregon, to create defensive spaces against wildfires. Similarly, The Nature Conservancy in Colorado will use nearly $9.9 million to protect vital watersheds.

This investment is part of a broader $1 billion commitment over five years aimed at empowering local and tribal communities, non-profits, and state forestry agencies to plan and mitigate wildfire risks.

The program’s growth and success are evident, with a 20% increase in funding due to rising interest and application rates. Looking ahead, the Forest Service plans to announce further funding opportunities to continue this vital work against wildfires.

Photo Credit: gettyimages-sizsus

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