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FIRE Act Aims to Improve Wildfire Response

California is getting more resources to fight wildfires and perhaps prevent them from becoming major disasters.

The unanimously-passed FEMA Improvement and Efficiency Act, also known as the FIRE Act, is aimed at changing how federal resources are deployed ahead of a megafire.

It updates the federal response, allowing FEMA to guide resources during extreme fire weather in order to pre-position them.

It will also prioritize wildfire survivors for housing and would provide more assistance for low-income residents.

The measure also provides funds to help tribes update their equipment as well.

Sen. Alex Padilla said the idea was born out of a roundtable in Santa Rosa.

“Over the years, we’ve seen FEMA get pretty good at preparing for and responding to hurricanes, preparing for and responding to tornadoes and floods,” Padilla said. “But when it comes to wildfires, not so much. With climate change being a reality in California, larger fires seemingly every single year, wanting to apply the same principles when it comes to preparing for and responding to wildfires as FEMA does for other disasters.”

Padilla, Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren and other leaders will talk more about the FIRE Act in San Jose Thursday morning.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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