Rosen and Colleagues Call for Action Ahead of Wildfire Season

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) announced that she joined other Western Senators in a letter to the Biden Administration urging them to provide additional relief to states that have been affected by wildfires and extreme drought.

“Nevada’s Lake Mead hit its lowest water level on record last week. Unfortunately, this drought is likely a sign of the new normal—in the world of climate change—with extreme drought conditions crippling western states like Nevada and contributing to record wildfire seasons,” said Senator Rosen. “Rising temperatures and drier conditions create the ideal environment for the spread of wildfires and make them more difficult to put out. That is why my colleagues and I are asking the Biden Administration for supplemental disaster funding to assist Nevada and other communities with rebuilding in the wake of these increasingly destructive wildfires.”

BACKGROUND: Other Senators who have signed on to the letter include: Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), and John Hickenlooper (D-CO).

The full text of the letter can be found here or below:

Dear President Biden:

We write to urge to you to provide relief to states that are struggling with the impact of extreme

drought and wildfire this summer and uncompensated damage from past wildfires, hurricanes,

floods, and storms. We urge you to request additional funding to meet those needs.

According to the Drought Monitor, over half of the United States is experiencing a historic

drought. Over 95% of the West is now either abnormally dry or in a drought, which is among the

highest percentages in the past 20 years. In addition, over 800,000 acres of forests and

rangelands have been burned by wildfire over the past year. The scale and nature of the problem

is quickly outpacing the availability of funding and authorities of federal agencies.

In addition to the escalating impact of this year’s drought and wildfires, many states and

communities never received supplemental relief for damage for disasters in 2020. While in most

cases the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has delivered substantial emergency

relief to affected communities, the scale of natural disasters experienced in 2020 demands

additional resources that can only be delivered through a disaster supplemental.

We thank you for your consideration, and we look forward to working with you on this

important issue.