The three leaders also spoke about the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which Congress passed in November. The IIJA provides nearly $3 billion to implement the actions in the 10 Year Wildfire Strategy.
Rep. Schrier stated that the 10 Year Strategy and the new federal funding will help “increase the pace and the scale of fuels reductions and forest health treatments across jurisdictions to match the actual scale and urgency of wildfire risk. This work will include things like prescribed fire and thinning and will be complemented by investments in fire-adapted communities to make sure that people can protect their own homes and communities.”
Among other investments, the infrastructure bill includes $500 million to ramp up the use of prescribed fire—a tool that Rep. Schrier championed with the National Prescribed Fire Act she introduced last year. This new federal effort complements the investments that the state Legislature enacted last year through HB 1168, the Wildfire Funding and Forest Health bill.