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Crapo teams up with Colorado senator on wildfire-prevention funding amendment

Idaho GOP Sen. Mike Crapo and Colorado Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet today filed legislation to launch a five-year, up to $30 million wildfire mitigation pilot project, to be carried out by FEMA in consultation with the Forest Service, as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, which is currently under consideration in the Senate. The two senators introduced the bill in August; it’s considered deficit-neutral, as it taps FEMA’s Pre-Disaster Mitigation Fund for competitive grants to state and local officials for wildfire preparedness and mitigation projects. Those state and local agencies would have to provide matching funds; the projects could occur on federal, state or private land.

 “Instead of waiting until more towns are evacuated, homes threatened and our firefighters lives put at risk, the U.S. Senate has an opportunity to pass the PREPARE Act amendment to help states like Idaho reduce and prevent catastrophic fires,” Crapo said in a statement. Bennet said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  By directing more resources toward fire mitigation on the front end, we can not only help prevent and reduce the severity of future disasters, we can also save millions of dollars in recovery costs in the long-run.” You can read the two senators’ full announcement here.


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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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