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December 16, 2023

Rep. Aguilar, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland Announce Wildfire Prevention Funding

Today, Rep. Pete Aguilar joined U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Deb Haaland to highlight efforts to make the Inland Empire more resilient to deadly wildfires as part of the Biden Administration’s Investing in American agenda.

The Investing in America agenda is delivering historic resources to communities to help advance wildfire resilience and strengthen local economies. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law allocates more than $1.5 billion for the Department of Interior to invest in fire preparedness, fuels management, post-fire restoration and fire science.  

“As wildfires in our region become more frequent and dangerous, it is crucial that we do everything in our power to mitigate the damage they cause,” said Rep. Pete Aguilar. “This new funding – that’s made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – will further enhance our resiliency against wildfires and make our East Valley communities safer.”

“As climate change continues to make fires in the West larger and more intense, we must continue to invest in the conservation of our ecosystems and protection of our communities. With critical investments from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, we are investing in long-term fire preparedness, reducing fire risk across states, and working with partners to increase resilience on lands and communities dealing with the threat of wildfire,” said Deb Haaland, U.S. Secretary of the Interior.

“Mindfully collaborative stewardship of natural resources is too often an anomaly,” said Betsy Miller Vixie, General Manager of the San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District. “We’re honored that the Bureau of Land Management recognizes the power of our collaborative partnerships to protect the ecosystem and natural processes of this land.”

In 2023 alone, over 500,000 acres of land were burned in Southern California due to wildfires, and fire suppression efforts in the region cost the federal government nearly $100 million.

Videos and photos from the event can be found here.