Senator Ron Wyden issued the following statement today after President Obama signed legislation (introduced on June 4th by Senator Wyden and cosponsored by Senators Bingaman, Mark Udall, Tester, and Feinstein) allowing the U.S. Forest Service to speed up contracting of additional air tankers needed to fight forest fires.
"Congress and the President acted quickly to address the need to get more planes in the air to fight forest fires that are getting larger and more devastating. Now it's time for the Forest Service to do the same. By speeding up the contracting process, the Forest Service now has the authority it needs to devote much-needed fire fighting resources to fires raging in six western states and elsewhere this year and into the future. I want to thank the President for recognizing the importance of this issue and for his efforts to begin modernizing the air tanker fleet that has been allowed to dwindle over the last decade."