Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) hosted a video conference with local, state and federal officials – including local fire chiefs and officials from the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Nevada Division of Forestry and the Nevada Fire Chiefs Association – to discuss the State of Nevada’s efforts to manage and respond to wildfires during the upcoming fire season. The Senator spoke about the importance of working together to prepare for the challenges of a fire season that will combine high levels of drought with the threat of the novel coronavirus.
“We all know that this fire season will require us to think outside the box in order to keep our firefighters safe – not only from the regular dangers of their work, but also from the threat of contracting and spreading coronavirus while on the job. Last year, I convened the first-ever Wildfire Summit to help coordinate state, local and federal resources to prevent and protect Nevada from the devastating impacts of wild and rangeland fires. I’m eager to build on that momentum as we collaborate on ways to adapt our fire departments, firefighting procedures and federal regulations to best safeguard our public lands and protect brave firefighters from danger.”
Senator Cortez Masto helped pass the CARES Act, which recently provided the U.S. Forest Service and the Department of the Interior with a combined $826.8 million for COVID-19 needs, of which $7 million was designated for PPE and baseline health testing for wildland fire and law enforcement. Local fire departments received an additional $100 million in CARES funding to purchase PPE and supplies.