Senator Baucus at Missoula Smoke Jumper Base

Montana Senator Max Baucus used the US Forest Service’s DC-7 jump plane as a backdrop as he made a speech on Monday outlining two bills related to wildland fire:

  • The Stable Fire Funding Act, which would establish a trust fund with $600 million in seed money for the Forest Service and $200 million in seed money for the Bureau of Land Management.
  • Baucus included a provision in the America’s Climate Security Act which was passed in December to provide up to $1.1 billion every year to combat catastrophic fires. The provision is intended to cover the annual cost to the federal government of the largest 1 percent of “escaped” fires, which currently account for 85 percent of wildfire suppression costs.

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