Bipartisan lawmakers try again to boost prescribed fire

By Marc Heller | 05/28/2024 04:26 PM EDT

Sen. Ron Wyden and others introduced a slightly altered version of legislation to encourage more controlled fires.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)

Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) at the Capitol in March. He is leading new legislation on prescribed fire. Francis Chung/POLITICO

Lawmakers in the Senate and House have reintroduced bipartisan legislation to boost the use of prescribed fire in and around federal lands.

Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) proposed the “National Prescribed Fire Act,” S. 4424. A House version, H.R. 8557, is being led by Reps. Kim Schrier (D-Wash.) and David Valadao (R-Calif.).

The bill — which has appeared in varying forms for the past several years — would create prescribed fire accounts at the Forest Service and the Interior Department.


It would create a collaborative prescribed fire program to help fund prescribed fire projects around the country in coordination with state and tribal governments and local prescribed fire councils.