Western Caucus Members Raise Awareness on Danger of Fire Retardant Ban

  • Fire Retardant Ban Special Order

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, Chairman Dan Newhouse (WA-04) and Rep. Matt Rosendale (MT-02) hosted a Special Order with Congressional Western Caucus Members to raise awareness about a case in the Federal District Court of Montana that could ban the use of aerial fire retardants nationwide during the coming 2023 fire season, placing western communities who routinely experience wildland fires at risk.

“Firefighters risk their lives to protect our communities, other people, and our forests. And we should listen to them when they tell us that fire retardant makes their job safer and that it truly is an essential tool to protect lives,” said Chairman Dan Newhouse (WA-04). “I stand here today, in truly utter disbelief that I even have to make this statement. That no, the value of a human life is far beyond that of some possible incidental disruption to aquatic ecosystems that would be equally—or more accurately, more—damaged by the toxic runoff of ash following a wildfire. We must ensure that fire retardant remains available to our firefighters for this 2023 fire season and beyond.” Click here to watch his full remarks.

“Fire retardant is a vital and effective tool for Montanans and rural communities, slowing the spread of fires and minimizing damage,” said Rep. Matt Rosendale (MT-02). “Wildfires burned more than seven and a half million acres across the United States in 2022. This number could easily be doubled or tripled if not for the use of safe and effective fire retardants.” Click here to watch his full remarks.

“Currently, the Forest Service is facing litigation that, if its opponents are successful, could result in the loss of this critical firefighting tool. Aerial fire retardant to help slow the spread of wildfires and creates a barrier between the fire and abundant and unburned fuel load,” said Rep. Russ Fulcher (ID-01). “As we prepare for the 2023 fire season, we must maximize these tools at our disposal in order to better fight the fires that threaten our local communities, economies, environment and our health.” Click here to watch his full remarks.

Click here to watch the entire Special Order.

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