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Biden visits Wildfire Center, congratulates firefighters who ‘saved Lake Tahoe’: NPR


The western wildfires gave Boise, Idaho, one of its smokiest summers on record. President Biden visited the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise on Monday.

Kirk Siegler / NPR


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Biden visits Wildfire Center, congratulates firefighters who ‘saved Lake Tahoe’: NPR

The western wildfires gave Boise, Idaho, one of its smokiest summers on record. President Biden visited the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise on Monday.

Kirk Siegler / NPR

While traveling to the drought-stricken west on Monday, President Biden used his chair of intimidation to sound the alarm bells about climate change and the accompanying extreme weather events and worsening wildfires.

In Boise, Idaho, Biden met with state and federal leaders at the National Interagency Fire Center, where the nation’s wildland firefighting apparatus is managed and which is operating at its highest level of deployment. for two extraordinary months this summer.

“The reality is that we have a problem with global warming, a serious problem with global warming, and it has consequences, and what is going to happen is things are not going to turn back,” Biden said. during the briefing.

The first president to formally visit the Federal Fire Hall, Biden also briefly met with first responders and a sniping team, where he reiterated his calls for increased pay for firefighters. The administration recently implemented bonuses for federal wildland firefighters, but Biden said many still only earn $ 15.00 an hour and put their lives at risk.

“You saved Lake Tahoe,” Biden said, referring to the massive Caldor fire still burning uncontrollably in California and Nevada.

Biden visits Wildfire Center, congratulates firefighters who ‘saved Lake Tahoe’: NPR

Dense and dangerous smoke from the western fires suffocated cities like South Lake Tahoe for weeks.

Kirk Siegler / NPR


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Kirk Siegler / NPR

Biden visits Wildfire Center, congratulates firefighters who ‘saved Lake Tahoe’: NPR

Dense and dangerous smoke from the western fires suffocated cities like South Lake Tahoe for weeks.

Kirk Siegler / NPR

The President’s tour, including an overview of the Caldor fire, comes as Congress attempts to finalize the details of a major legislative priority for the administration – a bill on infrastructure and climate change resilience $ 3.5 trillion backed by Democrats. During the Idaho and California shutdowns on Monday and Colorado on Tuesday, Biden planned to argue that the bill should not just be about replacing old systems, but rather upgrades that make communities like those of the West more resistant to extreme weather conditions.

“We cannot continue to ignore reality,” Biden said.

In Boise, Biden recounted how wildfires in the west this year alone have burned an area larger than New Jersey. More than 43,000 ignitions have burned some 5.4 million acres of land, slightly more than the entire last year which saw one of the most destructive seasons on record.

Idaho and neighboring Oregon are also among a handful of western states reporting their hottest summers on record.

“This summer, we are clarifying the question of just how bad climate change can be,” said Larry O’Neill, Oregon state climatologist.

Biden visits Wildfire Center, congratulates firefighters who ‘saved Lake Tahoe’: NPR

The dangerous smoke complicated the Caldor’s firefighting efforts in Northern California.

Kirk Siegler / NPR


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Kirk Siegler / NPR

Biden visits Wildfire Center, congratulates firefighters who ‘saved Lake Tahoe’: NPR

The dangerous smoke complicated the Caldor’s firefighting efforts in Northern California.

Kirk Siegler / NPR

Much of the northwest has also been suffocated by dense and dangerous smoke for weeks on end, leading to more calls for an overhaul of U.S. fire policy. On the ground in the West, there is also pressure on the US Forest Service and other federal agencies to be more aggressive with restoration projects in overgrown forests or natural wildfires. were suppressed for a century.

“Since the early 1900s the policy has been to fight fires, the seasons are getting longer, this places more demands on people who have to fight fires,” Boise resident Marshall Brezonick said during from a recent smoke-haze hike on a popular trail in the foothills outside of town. “It’s getting worse and worse with climate change.”