US plans $50B wildfire fight where forests meet suburbia

Western Wildfires Biden Plan
Posted at 10:10 AM, Jan 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-18 13:10:56-05

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Biden administration plans to significantly increase efforts to stave off catastrophic wildfires that have been torching areas of the U.S. West by more aggressively thinning forests around areas where nature and neighborhoods collide.

Officials have crafted a $50 billion plan to more than double the use of controlled fires and logging to reduce vegetation that feeds fires.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack tells The Associated Press the work will focus on regions where out-of-control blazes wiped out neighborhoods, including California’s Sierra Nevada mountains and Colorado's Rocky Mountains.

Climate change is heating and drying out the West. That makes wildfires more intense even as people increasingly move into fire-prone areas.


Put together your emergency supply kit long before a wildfire or other disaster occurs and keep it easily accessible so you can take it with you when you have to evacuate.

Emergency Supply Kit Checklist:

  • Face masks or coverings
  • Three-day supply of non-perishable food and three gallons of water per person
  • Map marked with at least two evacuation routes
  • Prescriptions or special medications
  • Change of clothing
  • Extra eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • An extra set of car keys, credit cards, cash or traveler’s checks
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered radio and extra batteries
  • Sanitation supplies
  • Copies of important documents (birth certificates, passports, etc.)
  • Don’t forget pet food and water!

Items to take if time allows:

  • Easily carried valuables
  • Family photos and other irreplaceable items
  • Personal computer information on hard drives and disks
  • Chargers for cell phones, laptops, etc.

Always keep a sturdy pair of shoes and a flashlight near your bed and handy in case of a sudden evacuation at night.