- EnactedDecember 14th, 2016The President signed this bill into law
- The house Passed December 5th, 2016Passed by Voice Vote
Committee on AgricultureCommittee on Natural Resources
- house Committees
- The senate Passed November 17th, 2016Passed by Voice Vote
Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and ForestryIntroducedSeptember 27th, 2016
- senate Committees
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Prescribed Burn Approval Act of 2016
A bill to require limitations on prescribed burns.
(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The expanded summary of the Senate passed version is repeated here.) Prescribed Burn Approval Act of 2016 (Sec. 3) This bill prohibits the Forest Service from authorizing a prescribed burn (i.e., a planned fire intentionally ignited) on Forest Service land if, for the county or contiguous county in which such land is located, the national fire danger rating system is indicating an extreme fire danger level. Nonetheless, the Forest Service may authorize a prescribed burn under such a condition if it coordinates with the applicable state government and local fire officials. At the end of every fiscal year, the Forest Service shall submit a report that describes: the number and locations of prescribed burns during that fiscal year, and each prescribed burn during that year that was authorized by the Forest Service as an exception under this bill.
Forest fires are becoming a life threatening danger, due to record droughts across the nation. There may be some cases where a local / state fire department does not have the resources or experience to prescribe a controlled burn. Many states may need to rely on the federal authorities in some instances (for example, in remote areas where only volunteer local fire departments operate).
I think it is important to keep controlled fires under the management of state officials, so that they can properly keep the fire in accordance with their specific states laws. The priority should be whatever keeps the people safest and I believe the best way to do that is to have state officials be manage controlled fires.