Joe Biden Meets With Western Governors To Talk Wildfires

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President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris met (virtually) with a bipartisan group of Western governors yesterday to discuss preparations for this year’s wildfire season, which is expected to be especially severe due to an ongoing drought fueled by climate change.

“Climate change is driving the dangerous confluence of extreme heat and prolonged drought. We’re seeing wildfires of greater intensity that move with more speed and last well beyond traditional months, traditional months of the fire season,” Biden said.

At the meeting, the President announced he was raising the pay of federal firefighters to ensure they make at least $15 an hour. The federal government also plans to hire more seasonal firefighters, provide retention bonuses, and add to surge capacity by training additional personnel.

However, many of the new proposals discussed in the meeting are unlikely to be ready for the current wildfire season, which has already begun in many parts of the West.

The governors of California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming attended the meeting, while the governors of Arizona, Idaho, and Montana did not, all expressing disappointment at not having received invitations.

Sources: Meeting: CNNReuters $, USA TodayAssociated PressMercury NewsNewsweek The GuardianNew York Times $, CNBCNBC NewsSalt Lake TribuneFox News. Missing Invitations: Idaho StatesmanBoise Public Radio; Climate Signals background: Western Drought 2020-2021Wildfires

This is a quick news brief from Nexus Media (images added by editor).

Featured photo by Matt Chesin on Unsplash

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