Mike Garcia, Young Kim, Julia Brownley, Judy Chu Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Improve Wildfire Detection
The Fire Information and Reaction Enhancement (FIRE) Act
Washington, August 11, 2021
Tags: Wildfire Mitigation
Representatives Mike Garcia (CA-25), Young Kim (CA-39), Julia Brownley (CA-26), and Judy Chu (CA-27) introduced the bipartisan Fire Information and Reaction Enhancement (FIRE) Act that would focus assets within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on wildfire forecasting and detection and improve the technology used to execute this mission.
Representatives Mike Garcia (CA-25), Young Kim (CA-39), Julia Brownley (CA-26), and Judy Chu (CA-27) introduced the bipartisan Fire Information and Reaction Enhancement (FIRE) Act that would focus assets within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on wildfire forecasting and detection and improve the technology used to execute this mission. The FIRE Act would improve wildfire detection and forecasting and enable NOAA to quickly disseminate critical information to land managers and firefighters to improve efforts to combat wildfires before they spread to catastrophic levels.
"Californians in my district and across our state know all too well the devastating impacts of wildfires. While federal, state and local entities coordinate wildfire prevention, detection and response efforts, we must do all we can to give those on the front lines the resources they need to do their jobs and protect the public health and safety of California communities,” said Rep. Kim. “That’s why I’m excited to join Reps. Garcia, Brownley and Chu in this commonsense, bipartisan effort to improve federal wildfire detection through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. I urge my colleagues to support the FIRE Act and will do all I can on the Science, Space and Technology Committee to address wildfires.”
“With wildfires raging throughout California and across the country, we are now seeing the real and devastating impacts of the climate crisis,” said Rep. Brownley. “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) recent climate report directly linked human activity to the increase in extreme natural disasters like wildfires. We must act now to invest in better mitigation, detection, and response technologies. I’m proud to join Congressman Mike Garcia in introducing the bipartisan FIRE Act, which will provide NOAA with the resources it needs to help detect wildfires and save lives.”
“As climate change causes longer, more severe fire seasons in California each year, we need to leverage all the tools at our disposal to keep communities safe," said Rep. Chu. "The FIRE Act would do that by ensuring that NOAA can provide better wildfire forecasting and detection to help prevent, track, and quickly respond to fires. I am proud to partner with Representatives Garcia, Brownley, and Kim to give the federal government and our state better tools to protect against catastrophic wildfire."The new authority provided by the bill would enable NOAA to develop new technology to improve the prediction of wildfire intensification, the forecast of smoke dispersion, information dissemination and risk communication, and early detection of wildfires to contain their growth and mitigate the loss of life and property.
The FIRE Act would also authorize the construction of a “fire-weather testbed” to develop and test new technologies created for these purposes.
Last month, Garcia introduced the PROTECT Act, or the Protecting and Restoring Our Trees by Enhancing Conservation and Treatments Act, which would improve federal forest management by allowing federal land managers to utilize active forest management practices, such as prescribed burns and brush clearing.
Read more about Garcia’s efforts to prepare for and prevent wildfires here.