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Spanberger Statement on 2020 Wildfire Outlook Briefing

Washington, July 1, 2020

WASHINGTON (July 1, 2020) – Following a briefing for Members on the outlook for the 2020 wildfire season from U.S. Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen and Regional Foresters, House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry Chair Abigail Spanberger of Virginia issued the following statement:

“Even before the added challenge of COVID-19, this year was poised to become a test of our nation’s capacities to respond to wildfires, as weather and fuel conditions have contributed to above-normal fire risk this summer. Additionally, the impacts of climate change have led to increases in both the number and the size of fires. With the new, unique threat of COVID-19, the 2020 fire year is likely to be a vast departure from fire years of the past,” said Spanberger. “Today, I was impressed by the thoughtful preparation and policies that the U.S. Forest Service has planned and adapted to contend with both the crisis of this year’s fire season and the COVID-19 pandemic. I know the agency is firmly committed to keeping wildland firefighters and the communities they serve safe, and I’d like to thank Chief Christiansen for taking time to brief our Subcommittee today.”
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