Vilsack promises to work with Congress to establish fire suppression

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack largely defended the federal government’s management of national forests amid criticisms that massive buildups of hazardous fuels have added to wildfires’ intensity. The secretary blamed this year’s budget sequestration for cutting the agency’s funding and said he’ll be working with congress this fall to establish “a larger and more significant commitment to fire suppression.” 

Vilsack said the government should start treating wildfires in the same way it deals with hurricanes and tornadoes.  He said fire suppression often has to override prevention activities in the Forest Service’s budget.

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