Mayor Jenny Wilson celebrates announcement from Secretary Pete Buttigieg on funding for resilient infrastructure

Secretary Buttigieg joined local leaders and firefighters for a roundtable moderated by Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson to discuss the 2021 Parley’s Canyon Fire, firefighting efforts in the greater Salt Lake area, and how infrastructure investments can improve evacuation routes and safety across their community. 

Earlier in the morning, Secretary Buttigieg announced new guidance and $7.3 billion in formula funding to help states and communities better prepare for and respond to extreme weather events. Utah is set to receive more than $60 million to help adapt infrastructure to rising temperatures, spreading wildfires, increasing flooding, and other extreme events. This is a first-of-its-kind program, made possible by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. 

“Each wildfire season fills me with dread as we prepare ourselves for the worst-case scenarios. Secretary Buttigieg’s announcement today means our state and our first responders will have more of the resources we need to prepare for wildfires, natural disasters, and extreme weather intensified by climate change,” said Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson. “When we have the right tools, coordination, and infrastructure, we save lives and homes.”

UFA Fire Chief Dominic Burchett; UFA Captain Anthony Widdison; UDOT Deputy Director Teri Newell; Summit County Emergency Manager Kathryn McMullin; WFRC Executive Director Andrew Gruber; Summit County Councilman Chris Robinson; Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands Deputy Director Jason Curry; and Vice President of Local 1696 (IAFF) Kiyoshi Young all participated in the roundtable. The group discussed in detail the Parley’s Canyon Fire and local infrastructure needs.