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The U.S. Department of the Interior announced an investment of more than $3.3 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to advance wildlife resilience work and support fuel management projects on 7,952 acres of Alaskan land.
The funding comes from the $103 million allocated by the DOI to reduce wildfire risk, mitigate impacts and rehabilitate burned areas, according to a Sept. 19 news release. A portion of the funding will be used to further the development of a wildfire risk mapping and mitigation tool, which is being developed by the USDA Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters.
“As climate change drives harsher heat waves, more volatile weather and record drought conditions, we are seeing wildfire seasons turn to wildfire years, threatening communities, businesses, wildlife and the environment,” Deputy Secretary Tommy Beaudreau said in the release. “Through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are investing in Alaska communities, advancing wildfire resilience work across the country, improving resources for the heroic firefighting workforce and reducing the risk of wildfire.”
“As wildfire seasons become longer, more intense and more dangerous, President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is bringing much needed support to communities across the country to increase the resilience of lands and better support federal wildland firefighters,” DOI Secretary Deb Haaland said in a release published June 17. “Wildland firefighters work in incredibly stressful environments that can take a significant toll on their overall health and wellbeing, as well as on those who love them. Standing up a targeted interagency effort to provide trauma-informed mental health care is critical.”
In April, the DOI released a five-year plan for the monitoring, maintenance and treatment of wildfires.