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Sunday, December 5th, 2021

California roundtable addresses federal wildfire assistance efforts

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Sen. Alex Padilla (D-CA) recently hosted local leaders in Santa Rosa, Calif., during a roundtable discussion regarding wildfire prevention, response and recovery efforts. 

The discussion and listening session stemmed from the White House’s approval of Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s request for a major disaster declaration in response to a series of wildfires. Padilla advocated for such action in correspondence to President Joe Biden.

“As California faces historic drought and wildfires, it’s clear that addressing the climate crisis and improving our state’s resiliency must be at the top of our infrastructure priority list,” Padilla said. “Sonoma and Napa Counties have repeatedly experienced the devastation of wildfires — homes and businesses destroyed, crops tainted by smoke and lives lost — and now that threat is very real across the state. I appreciated the opportunity to hear from local leaders on the ground and I look forward to turning that knowledge into new legislation to ensure California’s priorities are reflected in any federal infrastructure investments Congress passes in the coming months.”

Padilla helped pass the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which provides $692 million nationwide to execute hazardous fuels reduction projects. This month, he introduced the Wildfire-Resilient Communities Act and Smoke-Ready Communities Act –bills that look to combat wildfires, protect workers and help to address wildfire smoke impact.