Daines Shutdown Harming Forest Fire Preparedness

In what comes as no surprise to Montanans, Steve Daines refusal to do his job as a U.S. Senator is literally playing with fire.

Firefighting training has been delayed for 3 weeks now due to this inappropriate and meaningless shutdown.

According to reporting by McClatchy News:

Federal shutdown has halted training, other wildfire prep — and it could get worse

“This is the second year in a row we’ve had a shutdown right in the middle of the (firefighter) training season,” said Jim Whittington, a former U.S. Bureau of Land Management employee who runs an Oregon-based crisis management consulting firm, Whittington & Associates. “The last thing we want is for fires to break out, and not have the kind of crews we need to to field.”

Training has been halted for thousands of western firefighters. The U.S. Forest Service can’t award contracts for needed equipment. In forests across the West, no federal employees are doing work to reduce dry “fuel” that feeds catastrophic blazes.

These are some of the impacts of the 19-day federal shutdown on federal firefighters, and experts say the situation could quickly worsen. If the shutdown drags out for several more weeks, federal fire crews won’t be ready for the months ahead, following a 2018 fire season that killed scores of people and destroyed thousands of homes in California and other states.

Senator Daines, it is time to ask yourself the tough question, who do you work for, the DC swamp or Montanans?

Montanans need relief and no wall is going to save our homes from forest fires, no wall will provide safe air quality for our kids and seniors in the August smoke season and no wall will save our beloved forests from climate change induced forest fires.

Do your job, Senator Daines, or start looking for a new one.


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Nathan Kosted:

View Comments (1)

  • Daines has NEVER represented the people of Montana; he votes with his puppet masters. His total disregard for our state should assure that he's ever elected again, but people will have to keep his many failings in mind. Thanks to the MONTANA POST for reminding us all on a frequent basis.

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