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Westerman Letter to US Forest Service Chief Tooke


WASHINGTON, D.C., January 19, 2018 -
TO: Mr. Tony Tooke
FROM: Chairman Bruce Westerman

According to the National Interagency Fire Center more than 9.7 million acres were consumed by wildfires this past year, 49 percent more than the average for the last ten years. In addition to the tragic loss of life, this season's wildfires have destroyed thousands of homes and business, damaged popular recreation sites, produces hazardous air quality, threatened national parks, and jeopardized water supplies. Last year, the United States Forest Service (USFS) set a new record by spending more than $2 billion fighting forest fires. Fire suppression spending has ballooned from 15 percent to 55 percent of the Forest Service's budget. In its 2018 budget, USFS requested $244 million for aerial tanker contracts and operations, an increase of $110 million from 2016 appropriations.

Read the full letter HERE.

Contact: Committee Press Office 202-226-9019

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