ICYMI: Senator Kelly Meets with Backbone Fire Response Team, Local Leaders
Yesterday, Arizona Senator Mark Kelly met with the Backbone Fire response team at the Incident Command Post (ICP) located approximately 12 miles west of Pine and Strawberry, Arizona. At the ICP, Senator Kelly was briefed by the Southwest Area Type 1 Incident Management Team and met with Mayor of Camp Verde Dee Jenkins and Yavapai County Supervisor James Gregory. The group discussed the personnel’s need for more resources, including equipment and medical essentials, as well as examined current firefighting strategies and challenges.
Sen. Kelly’s visit comes after his introduction of key pieces of wildfire prevention legislation earlier this week. Sen. Kelly introduced the Wildland Fire Mitigation and Management Commission Act of 2021 with Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), a bill to establish a commission of federal and non-federal stakeholders—including city and county level representation—to study and recommend fire prevention, mitigation, management, and rehabilitation policies for forests and grasslands. On Thursday, alongside his colleagues Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Sen. Kelly introduced the Community Wood Facilities Assistance Act, a bipartisan bill that would make it easier to develop sustainable wood products and energy from biomass made from timber from forest thinning projects, including projects that reduce the risk of wildfire.
Kelly also recently secured commitments from U.S. Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen to bring all resources to bear on suppressing and recovering from the Telegraph and Mescal Fires in Arizona, whose ICPs he visited earlier this month.