March 30, 2022

In the Wake of the NCAR Fire, Congressman Neguse Takes to the House Floor to Call for Federal Action on Wildfire Resiliency

View his remarks here

Washington, D.C.— Today, Congressman Joe Neguse, Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Wildfire Caucus took to the House floor to call for immediate Congressional action in response to an uptick in wildfires throughout Colorado’s Second Congressional District and across the West. In the past week, two wildfires broke out in Neguse’s district forcing evacuations for residents in Boulder and Larimer counties. The NCAR Fire was within 1,000 yards of nearby homes according to emergency personnel and comes just three months after the Marshall Fire burned over 6,000 acres, destroying over 1,000 homes and businesses.

“Enough is enough. For my community, we are no longer witnessing wildfire seasons, but instead wildfire years. Fires are burning in August, in December, in March. Our communities are under threat by worsening, more dangerous, unrelenting wildfires 365 days a year,” said Congressman Joe Neguse. “These disasters warrant a response, they warrant bold, decisive action from the federal government.”

Congressman Neguse is leading several efforts in Congress to support wildfire resilience, mitigation and recovery. As Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Wildfire Caucus, he introduced the Wildfire Recovery Act to bring much needed resources to communities recovering from devastating wildfire seasons, ensuring adequate support from the federal government – this bill passed out of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee in October of last year. He has also introduced the Western Wildfire Support Act and the Wildfire Smoke Relief Act, bills which will enhance state and local response to threats. Neguse is also leading Tim’s Act, named after Tim Hart, a smokejumper who lost his life in a fire last year. The legislation is the first-of-its-kind comprehensive, bipartisan legislation to raise federal wildland firefighter pay and ensure access to trauma-informed mental health services, health care, housing and retirement benefits. Neguse has also been championing his 21st Century Conservation Corps proposal for several years, to make a historic $40 billion investment in our forests and create new jobs in our public lands working on climate resilience projects. 

On Saturday, western heat waves fueled the NCAR Fire in Boulder, Colorado. At its worst the evacuation area for this fire included an estimated 19,000 people and 8,000 homes. Larimer County Sheriff's Office on Monday, then announced voluntary evacuations due to an additional fire on Soul Shine Road just south of Highway 34.