Following Sinema’s Urging, Agency Agrees to Help Strengthen Arizona’s Protections from Wildfires

May 14, 2021

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema announced that following her urging, the Government Accountability Office agreed to assess the hiring and retention of federal wildland firefighters for effective fire management, and issue recommendations to strengthen Arizona’s federal firefighting force.
“Wildfires in Arizona and across the west are a near-constant threat. I am glad the federal government listened to our calls to take commonsense steps to better protect Arizona communities from dangerous wildfires,” said Sinema.
The Forest Service estimates that current fire seasons are lasting 78 days longer than they did in 1970. In her letter, Sinema urged that given the increasing threat wildfires present, the federal government must provide the necessary firefighting capacity and resources needed to protect Arizona communities.
Sinema recently introduced the Protecting Firefighters from Adverse Substance Act—bipartisan legislation that protects firefighters, emergency response personnel, and communities from PFA chemicals found in firefighting foams.
In the most recent coronavirus-relief law, Sinema helped secure budget support for Arizona communities to retain police, firefighters, first-responders, and other essential services.