Date: October 13, 2015 Contact: Jessica Kershaw, Interior_Press@ios.doi.gov
WASHINGTON – This week, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell will travel to California and Washington to highlight community preparedness and resilience efforts in the face of natural disasters, accelerated by climate change.
On Wednesday, October 14, Jewell will join U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) in San Diego to discuss the devastating impact of wildfires across the state. Jewell, Peters and fire officials will tour wildfire-prone communities in the San Diego region, receive a briefing on current conditions at the Incident Command Center, and meet with firefighters.
Fire seasons are becoming longer and more intense. The Obama Administration and Congressman Peters have called for a new funding framework that would treat wildfires similar to other natural disasters. The budget proposal would provide greater certainty in addressing growing fire suppression needs while preserving funds meant for prevention and other non-suppression programs, such as fuels reduction and post-fire rehabilitation.
On Thursday, October 15, Jewell and U.S. Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-1) will participate in a roundtable discussion with scientists and climate change experts on building resilient communities to prepare for geologic hazards such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and landslides; and climate change-related hazards such as wildlife, sea level rise, drought and flooding.
Before the roundtable discussion, DelBene and Jewell will visit the community of Oso to see first-hand the devastation of last year’s SR 530 Landslide. Jewell and DelBene will also participate in a Great ShakeOut drill with students from Darrington School District at the Oso Fire Department as part of a global education campaign to help people prepare for earthquakes. The ShakeOut is the largest public safety drill in the world, with nearly 20 million people across the United States expected to participate this year.