Biden officials due on the Hill to address wildfire crisis

By Marc Heller | 03/11/2024 06:28 AM EDT

Two Senate committees plan hearings this week on reducing the threat of wildfires for forests and nearby communities.

TEXAS - FEBRUARY 27: In this handout photo provided by the Texas A&M Forest Service, smoke billows over a road during the Smokehouse Creek fire on February 27, 2024 in the Texas panhandle. The fire has grown to cover approximately 500,000 acres. (Photo by Texas A&M Forest Service via Getty Images)

Smoke billows over a road during the Smokehouse Creek Fire in the Texas Panhandle in February. Texas A&M Forest Service via Getty

Two Senate committees will revisit the wildfire crisis this week with hearings that probe how federal agencies can better protect communities and manage fire-prone federal lands.

The hearings are timely, as the utility company Xcel Energy said last week that it may have started the largest wildfire in Texas history, the recent Smokehouse Creek fire.

On Tuesday, The Energy and Natural Resources Committee will take testimony from Biden administration officials on the findings and recommendations of a federal wildfire commission created through the bipartisan infrastructure law.


On Thursday, the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hear from state, federal and local officials on responding to the continuing crisis.