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Oregon’s emergency management director testifies to Congress about wildfire issues

Wildfire in 2020 left damage all throughout the Santiam Canyon east of Salem. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

WASHINGTON — The federal government should re-examine its emergency response systems to better assist communities at risk from the growing threats of wildfire, state and local wildfire responders told members of Congress Tuesday.

Wildfires across the United States have become larger, more intense and longer-lasting this century in part due to changes in the global climate—creating more demand for federal aid in response to the fires and for mitigation in fire-prone areas. 

“Climate change, dangerous fuel accumulations and increased development in the wildland urban interface has caused a significant increase in catastrophic loss of life, property and ecosystems across the United States, most dramatically in the Western U.S.,” Kacey KC, the Nevada . . .