December 17, 2021

Neguse, Curtis Release 2021 End of the Year Report Highlighting Key Accomplishments of the Bipartisan Wildfire Caucus

In year one since the Caucus’s launch, Bipartisan Wildfire Caucus members have secured key wildfire funding measures, introduced several critical bills and supported communities in recovery

Washington D.C.— Today, Co-Chairs Joe Neguse (D-CO) and John Curtis (R-UT) unveiled the Bipartisan Wildfire Caucus 2021 End of Year Report, highlighting key accomplishments from the past year. The Bipartisan Wildfire Caucus was founded in early 2021 following the record-setting and devastating 2020 wildfire season which impacted countless communities across the West. Congressman Joe Neguse’s district experienced the first and second largest wildfires in Colorado history in 2020, which burned over 400,000 acres and has left millions of dollars of recovery work for local forests and watersheds. 

CLICK HERE TO READ THE BIPARTISAN WILDFIRE CAUCUS 2021 END OF YEAR REPORT

“As destructive and devastating wildfires become all the more pervasive across the West, Washington cannot be silent on solutions. We launched the Bipartisan Wildfire Caucus following a record-setting wildfire season in my community with the hope of highlighting balanced, science-driven prevention and recovery solutions,” said Rep. Neguse. “I’m grateful for our Caucus membership for engaging on this critical issue over the last year and proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish since our launch. Our work continues in 2022, as we work to increase wildfire management funding, equip our local communities with necessary resources and support our wildland firefighting workforce with higher pay and adequate benefits.” 

“The Bipartisan Wildfire Caucus has made excellent progress in helping Americans prepare for and recover from wildfires while emphasizing the importance of common-sense active forest management that ultimately saves lives and property,” said Rep. Curtis. “I look forward to continuing to work alongside Representative Neguse and our colleagues on the caucus to prioritize bipartisan policies that will help our communities recover from, respond to, and avoid catastrophic wildfires in the first place.”

Members of the Caucus secured $5.66 Billion in funding for wildfire prevention programs in the  House-passed FY2022 Appropriations bill after leading a letter to House leadership in May. The Caucus also held 4 staff briefings with the U.S. Forest Service to highlight science-based wildfire management and mitigation proposals in Congress.

Co-Chair Neguse and Curtis introduced The Wildfire Recovery Act, a bill to raise the federal cost-share for Fire Management Assistance Grants (FMAG) and provide more federal resources to local communities working to recover from devastating wildfires. Read the bill text here

Additionally, Co-Chair Neguse introduced the The Tim Hart Wildland Firefighter Classification and Pay Parity Act, alongside Congresswoman Liz Cheney, a bill to raise federal wildland firefighter pay, ensure essential benefits, and recognize the unique conditions, skills, and qualifications inherent to wildland firefighting. Read the bill text here

In July, Congressman Joe Neguse released his 2021 Colorado Wildfire Resource Guide sharing resources, instructions and information with Coloradans to prepare for this year’s wildfire season. Co-Chairs Neguse and Curtis also released a broader version of the 2021 Wildfire Resource Guide, for all Westerners.  

As Chair of the U.S. Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, Congressman Neguse has made tackling western wildfires a key component of his “Restoring Our Lands and Communities” Agenda.  

Members of the caucus currently include: Tom O'Halleran (D-AZ), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Mike Simpson (R-ID), Ann Kikrpatrick (D-AZ), Chris Stewart (R-UT), Kurt Schrader (D-OR), Dan Newhouse (R-WA), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), Blake Moore (R-UT), John Garamendi (D-CA), Cliff Bentz (R-OR), Josh Harder (D-CA), Jamie Herrera Butler (R-WA), Jim Costa (D-CA), and Liz Cheney (R-WY)