U.S. Representative Jared Polis

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House of Representatives approves Polis’s amendment to fund volunteer and rural firefighting programs

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Washington, September 8, 2017 | comments

The House of Representatives approved Rep. Jared Polis's, D-Colo., amendment to provide additional resources for volunteer and rural fire departments, late last night.  The amendment increases funding for the Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) by $1.3 million, from $14.6 million to $15.9 million.  In addition, it increases funding for State Fire Assistance by $11 million, from $76 million to $87 million. 

“These additional funds can mean the difference between mitigating and containing a fire – or watching it turn catastrophic,” said Polis.  “Right now, out west, communities are stricken with ash and smoke from the dozens of wildfires that are raging across 100s of thousands of acres.  All the while, many fire departments are underfunded.  States and communities need these funds now to prevent and suppress wildfires.”

The VFA program provides matching funds to volunteer fire departments protecting communities with 10,000 or fewer residents to purchase equipment and training for use in wildfire suppression.  In 2016, nearly 40 fire departments in Colorado received funding from VFA, amounting to over $146,000.  

The State Fire Assistance program provides states with resources to mitigate fires on non-federal lands. 

The House of Representatives must now approve the spending bill as a whole.

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