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Vice President Harris Announces Wildfire Relief Funding During San Bernardino Visit

Jonathan Linden
91.9 KVCR
Vice President Kamala speaking at a press conference at a San Bernardino fire station on Jan. 21.

On Jan. 21 Vice President Kamala Harris visited San Bernardino to announce $1.3 billion in disaster relief funds for the U.S. Forest Service.

Nearly half of the $1.3 billion will go towards California national forests. “We are working with this funding to make sure that we’re putting the resources where they are needed to address the unique challenges that fire presents,” said Vice President Kamala Harris.

Over the last two years, more than 6.5 million acres have burned in California. The federal money will help pay to replant forests and clean up hazardous materials.

Harris says the U.S. must do more on climate change, which has increased the likelihood of bigger, more damaging wildfires. “The climate crisis has almost everything to do with what we are seeing with the crisis of wildfires,” said Harris.

Vice President Harris also took an ariel tour of the burn scars from the El Dorado fire, which burned more than 22,000 acres in 2020.

Jonathan Linden
91.9 KVCR
Vice President Kamala Harris receives a presentation by the U.S. Forrest Service along with Congressman Pete Aguilar, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla, Governor Gavin Newsom, and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

California U.S. Senator Alex Padilla joined the Vice President on the tour. “It’s extremely helpful to see firsthand what impact the fires have been and the benefits of some of the modern mitigation procedures,” said Padilla.

Padilla applauded the announced funding, saying fires hit close to home for many Californians. “The news here is great, investments not just in response to future wildfires, but what we can do today to prevent or mitigate the impact of wildfires,” said Padilla.

Vice President Harris also touted $600 million that will raise salaries for federal firefighters, as well as $48 million for funding the Joint Chief’s Landscape Restoration Partnership.

Jonathan Linden was a reporter at 91.9 KVCR in San Bernardino, California. He joined KVCR in July 2021 and served with the station till October 2022.