Curtis, Neguse bill to support wildfire recovery efforts passes committee

Yesterday, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure passed Rep. John Curtis and Rep. Joe Neguse’s bipartisan legislation to support wildfire recovery efforts in Utah and across the nation, 61-3.

The legislation was introduced by both members who Co-Chair the Bipartisan Wildfire Caucus. The Wildfire Recovery Act would increase flexibility in the federal cost share for Fire Management Assistance Grants (FMAG) to bring in additional resources for communities as they rebuild from wildfire damage. 

“As Utahns know, wildfires leave devastating damage in their wake and the sooner restoration and recovery can begin, the better,” said Rep. Curtis, Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Wildfire Caucus. “I am pleased to see the Wildfire Recovery Act advanced through Committee and am hopeful we will soon hold a vote on the Floor. Our bipartisan bill will help our communities during their greatest time of need.”

“In the wake of the Cameron Peak, East Troublesome and Calwood fires in our district, our local communities are still working to rebuild and recover. It’s critical that the federal government has the flexibility to fully support this wildfire recovery work and that we are not asking our cities and counties to pick up so much of the bill.” said Rep. Joe Neguse, Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Wildfire Caucus. “The bipartisan Wildfire Recovery Act will bring additional resources to our communities to support fire management and mitigation. I’m thrilled this widely-supported legislation passed the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee with overwhelming support, and I look forward to bringing it to the House floor for a vote.”

The bill is also cosponsored by over 35 Members of Congress, including Representative Chris Stewart (R-UT).

Representatives Curtis and Neguse have worked together throughout their time in Congress to address wildfires in the West. In 2019, together they introduced the Study on Improving Lands (SOIL) Act which evaluates the effects of wildfire and land use practices on the ability of soil to sequester carbon. Last April, they introduced the Wildfire and Community Health Response Act of 2020aimed at supporting the health of firefighters and mitigating the impact of wildfires on vulnerable communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bipartisan Wildfire Caucus, launched earlier this year, seeks to elevate bipartisan science-driven solutions for tackling western wildfires.