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SB 1117: Boosting state fire management $$ — 2023

Summary: SB 1117 would provide supplemental wildfire funding for the Idaho Department of Lands.

ICL's position: Support

Current Bill Status: Governor's Desk

Issue Areas: Idaho Department of Lands, Public Lands, Wildfire

Official Legislative Site

The Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee, the budget setting committee, introduced Senate Bill 1117, which would provide $1.1 million in supplemental wildfire funding for the Idaho Department of Lands.

The bill proposes to fund the purchase of fire equipment that include fire engines, command vehicles, pickup trucks, fire detection cameras, radios, furniture, and telecommunications hardware for dispatch and fire crews. The bill also funds the startup costs of the new Cottonwood Fire District in Southeast Idaho, after the state renegotiated an agreement with the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, which will have the state providing fire suppression on an additional 3 million acres.

The bill also includes an additional $831,000 for other firefighting equipment to be used across the state.

The science is clear, the results are in: our planet is warming rapidly, leading to longer and more challenging fire seasons, changing patterns of precipitation, and threats to wildlife and ecosystem function. The question is no longer if, or how, climate change is impacting our world. Now the only question is: How can we be part of the solution? This new funding doesn’t address the root causes of climate change, but it will help ensure that we are ready to deal with the unfortunate realities.