BOISE, IDAHO – U.S. Senator Jim Risch joined Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilsack and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell in a tour of the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) today. The group also had a briefing from interagency personnel on the 2013 fire season. Predictions from NIFC officials are for an above normal year of fire activity in the western United States.
The two cabinet secretaries and Risch also participated in a media briefing, where Idaho’s junior senator shared some comments.
“It is a pleasure to have Secretary Vilsack and Secretary Jewel here at the NIFC facility in Boise. Fire management is extremely important in Idaho where two-thirds of the state is owned and managed by the federal government. Our natural resources are very important to the economy of Idaho and issues such as sage grouse habitat puts additional pressure on protecting those resources,” said Risch. “Not everyone understands the serious impacts that fires have in the western United States, especially my colleagues from the east. We need to make them better understand that resources are needed to deal with fires, just as resources are needed to deal with hurricanes and other disasters.”
The National Interagency Fire Center is staffed by eight different agencies and organizations and is the support center for wildland firefighting. National firefighting decisions are made by the National Multi-Agency Coordinating Group based in Boise.
NFIC was created in 1965 and was known as the Boise Interagency Fire Center until a name change was made in 1993 to better reflect its national mission.