U.S. Fire Administrator Travels to Boise, Colorado Springs, Sacramento during Earth Week

to highlight America's Wildfire Challenges, Announce Full Report on Fire Prevention and Control

The head of the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), a component of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and principals of America’s national fire service organizations will travel to Boise, Idaho; Colorado Springs, Colorado; and Sacramento, California; to highlight America’s wildfire challenges and announce the release of the full report on Fire Prevention and Control.

“Wildfires devastate our communities and can disrupt critical infrastructure including transportation, communications, power, gas, water supply and military installations. These disasters, and the ongoing threat of structure fires, are a challenge to our security. They result in the loss of homes, businesses, crops, animals and human lives, and can deteriorate air quality hundreds of miles away,” said DHS Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “I am proud to work alongside the U.S. Fire Administration as they lead our nation’s fire services to prevent, respond, mitigate and recover from the devastating effects of wildfires. These first responders are heroes and we must continue to support their efforts.”

During the visits, U.S. Fire Administrator Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell will participate in press conferences to acknowledge America’s fire problem, share steps to reduce the risk of fire in local communities and talk about the Administration’s whole-of-government strategy to respond to wildfires.

“Drought, extreme heat and relative low humidity in many parts of the nation contribute to prime conditions for ignition and fire spread. There is a global increase in extreme fires even in areas previously unaffected,” said Dr. Moore-Merrell. “The U.S. government and the nation’s firefighters can’t fight this alone. We need individual homeowners and residents to take actions to keep their homes fire safe so that you have every chance to escape injury or death when a fire occurs. In communities built near forested areas or in previously forested areas, to minimize the chance of home ignitions, fuels around the home can be removed, reduced or relocated,” she continued. “Homes can also be hardened to prevent ignition from airborne embers by taking action to use ignition resistant roof coverings, vents, windows and fences. Fire is everyone’s fight.”

FEMA recently announced the largest investment in its Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program, boosted by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. This funding helps communities increase resilience to wildfires, heat waves, drought, floods, hurricanes and other hazards by preparing before disaster strikes.

“As we head into the warmer months, communities must be prepared for wildfires that are only being exasperated by the impacts of climate change,” said FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell. “Our mission to build resilience in these communities is even more critical as the wildland urban interface continues to expand. That is why FEMA and USFA remain focused on engaging our partners across government and leading a whole-of-community effort to address these complex problems.”

In Sacramento, Dr. Moore-Merrell will also be highlighting a prize competition to be announced by a non-profit organization to drive wildfire detection and extinguishment technologies.