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A bipartisan group of western senators continues pushing for their legislation to fix “fire borrowing” heard strong evidence from Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and fire experts at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Forest Service that Congress should pass their bill to end fire borrowing.

The Wildfire Disaster Funding Act, introduced by Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, as well as other senators, would treat wildfires as natural disasters and stop the erosion of the Forest Service’s budget by reforming the way the federal government funds wildfires.

More than 8.5 million acres have burned across the country this year – a 47 percent increase from the 10-year average of 5.8 million acres. The emergency preparedness levels for fire are at the highest point in five years.