Special Counsel Rachel Jacobson and Senior Associate Matthew Ferraro published an opinion piece in The Hill that explains the not widely known role Congress’ defense policymakers have in preventing and responding to Western wildfires.
In the piece titled, “War against wildfires a new priority for House Armed Services Committee?” Ms. Jacobson and Mr. Ferraro wrote:
“The threat wildfires pose to the health and safety of the country is not a concern only of the US Forest Service and the Congress’s environmental committees. When the 116th Congress convenes in January 2019, expect legislative activity aimed at mitigating the dangers of wildfires from an unexpected place: the House Armed Services Committee (“HASC”) under the probable chairmanship of Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.)
“Wildfires affect the armed services in a number of ways, ranging from curtailing the number of training days due to fire activity, to diverting military assets and personnel to assist in response efforts. In the past year, defense legislation has already moved decisively toward addressing wildfires…”