The federal government is one step closer to changing the way it pays to fight wildfires. Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley said the preliminary legislation was approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday.
Wildfires are not treated the same as other natural disasters, such as floods and hurricanes. This forces the U.S. Forest Service to take money intended for fire prevention efforts, like thinning, and use it to fight fires. Under the new system, Senator Merkley explains the wildfire budget would be based on the 10-year average cost.