Biden raises firefighters’ pay, Newsom slams Trump’s wildland fire handling – Times-Herald

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As many people in California and the West face the risk of severe droughts, record heat and wildfires, President Byden on Wednesday raised federal firefighters’ salaries and used state guards to help fight fires. Announced to expand and expand efforts to use federal satellites Firefighters can limit the spread of fires more quickly by detecting fires as they occur.

“The truth is we are catching up,” Biden said on a video conference from the White House with the governor of the West, including Gavin Newsom of California. “It’s an area that is under-resourced, but if we have anything to do with it, that will change. When it comes to forest fire management and firefighter assistance, we can’t cut corners.

According to Biden, there were 36 major fires in the western part on Wednesday, up from 21 last year. He cited triple-digit heat waves, a drought in California and a fire as the situation was exacerbated by climate change. Significant investments, such as $ 50 billion in pending infrastructure packages to mitigate the risk of fire and other disasters, are needed to reduce the risk of fire and expand firefighting capabilities. He added.

“It’s a call for others to wake up,” Biden said. “People told me when I was on the road for the past three weeks,” I didn’t think things had changed so much. I saw a photo of a reservoir in California, but what’s there no water? Or does someone say “117 degrees in Portland”? “

Newsam was in Siscue County monitoring a 17,591-acre lava fire in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, just west of Mount Shasta. In a video link with the Forest Behind, Newsom said he praised the White House’s approach, in stark contrast to California’s experience under former President Trump, which did not cited his name.

“Needless to say, in California our relationship with the federal government was more like a training partner than a working partner,” Newsom said. “Here we have the opportunity to turn the pages with pointing and rhetoric. Over the past few years we have been discussing the politics of rake in his country – literally the politics of rake. “

In 2018, while touring the wreckage of the city of Paradise after a campfire, Trump made a fool of himself, saying California needs to scrape forests to reduce the risk of fire.

“You have to take care of the soil. You know the forest floor, that’s very important, ”Trump told reporters as Gov. Jerry Brown and lieutenant at the time. Governor Gavin Newsom was standing nearby. “You see other countries where they do it differently, it’s a whole different story. I was with the president of Finland and he called it a forest nation. They were rakes and cleaners. , I spend a lot of time doing things and it’s okay, and when they do, it’s a very small problem. “

Later, the Finnish president, whose winter temperatures reached -45 degrees Celsius, said he had never spoken with Trump about scraping forests.

Sauli Niinistö briefly met Trump in Paris at a World War I memorial service, and when the subject of a California wildfire emerged he said, “Finland is a wooded country. To avoid “We have a good surveillance system and a good network. “

Mr Trump does not mention climate change, the role of collapsed power lines in the fires in California or the fact that many large-scale fires are burning in the Chaparral of Southern California and other landscapes instead. than in the forests. It was.

“There is no reason for these big, deadly and costly wildfires in California except that the forest management is very bad,” Trump tweeted at one point. “Billions of dollars are donated every year and many lives are lost, all due to serious mismanagement of forests. “

Overall, 57% of California’s forests are owned by the federal government, primarily the US Forest Office. The state owns 2%. Civilians own about 40% of the rest, most of which is owned by small landowners under 500 acres. Little Hoover Commission Study 2018.

Last August, Newsom and the federal government Sign the contract Last year, the forestry department processed 213,842 acres, down slightly from 214,374 acres the year before, according to forestry department spokesman Jon Groveman.

Biden this week Appointed as a resident of the Bay Area Randy Moore, head of the Forestry Department’s regional office based in Vallejo, heads the US Forest Office.

Faced with an appeal later this fall, Newsom has recently come under fire for its national efforts. Shortly after taking office in January 2020, he promised Cal Fire would perform 90,000 acres of fire protection in 35 key areas, including 11,399 of those acres, according to state statistics. Only the work is completed. According to a poll by Sacramento and NPR Capital Public Radio.

“California is bracing for the worst wildfire season ever, but Gavin Newsom is working to prevent it,” California Republican President Jessica Milan Patterson said in a statement. I have yet to explain why I lied about this. “

After a record burning season of 4.3 million acres in California and more than 10 million acres in the west last year, federal agencies have struggled to close some openings in the work of firefighters . US Forest Office firefighters start wages at $ 13.45 an hour, which is cheaper than workers at McDonald’s in California. Biden said he learned about the low wages last week.

“Come on, this is unacceptable to me,” Biden said Wednesday. He announced Bonuses and other mechanics He said he would increase his base salary to over $ 15 an hour and work with Congress to further increase firefighters’ wages and allowances.

“These brave women and men are at the incredible risk of running into the fire,” Biden said. “They deserve to be paid and receive good salaries. You know that old expression, “Did God make a man, and then did he make some firefighters?” “That is true. .. “

Firefighters cool a hot spot after a lava fire hit the northern Weed, Calif., Area on Monday, June 28, 2021 against the backdrop of Mount Shasta (via Scott Stoddard / Grantspas Daily Courier, AP).

Biden raises firefighters’ wages, Newsom criticizes Trump’s wildland fire handling – Times-Herald Biden raises firefighters’ pay, Newsom criticizes Trump’s wildland fire handling – Times-Herald

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