Press Releases

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) today joined U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue, U.S. Forest Service Acting Chief Vicky Christensen and his colleagues in Congress to discuss wildfire prevention measures in Nevada and across the West. Click HERE to watch Heller’s opening remarks at the roundtable.

In 2017, wildfires ravaged over 10 million acres across the country, including 1.2 million acres of land in Nevada alone. According to the USDA, more than 28,000 people were deployed to fight the deadly blazes and approximately 12,300 structures were lost.

Heller, a member of the Senate Western Caucus, has championed and supported several pieces of legislation to combat fires in Nevada. Most recently, Heller supported legislation signed into law to provide federal funding for wildfire management and improvements to firefighting by modernizing aviation, radio, and evacuation system infrastructure and other platforms that detect and monitor fire, which includes projects like AlertTahoe. It also directs the Forest Service to partner with the University of Nevada on wildfire risk mapping.


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“In the last year alone, Nevada and the West has experienced catastrophic wildfires that have destroyed homes and businesses, the very places where people are raising their families and contributing to their local communities. Of the 10 million acres that burned nationwide last year, over percent of that was in the state of Nevada. Unfortunately, the threat posed by these massive blazes – and consequential floods – continues to grow,” said Heller. “That’s why among many other wildfire prevention programs, I’m working hard to support innovative technology systems like AlertTahoe that detect and identify fires as soon as they happen. I thank Secretary Zinke, Secretary Perdue, and Forest Service Acting Chief Christensen for gathering this group today to work on a solution to better prepare our communities before disaster strikes and ensure that our firefighters have the resources they need.”

Heller, a member of the Senate Western Caucus, has championed and supported several pieces of legislation to combat fires in Nevada. Most recently, Heller supported legislation signed into law to provide federal funding for wildfire management and improvements to firefighting by modernizing aviation, radio, and evacuation system infrastructure and other platforms that detect and monitor fire, which includes projects like AlertTahoe. It also directs the Forest Service to partner with the University of Nevada on wildfire risk mapping.


Heller participates in a roundtable with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Forest Service Acting Chief Christensen.
*Media may use this photo.*

Heller has also pushed Senate leaders to pass his Emergency Fuel Reduction Act (S.1752), which would eliminate timely federal permitting for hazardous fuel reduction projects on public lands. This legislation gives the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service the tools to clean up dead and dying trees on federal lands in an expedited fashion.

Since coming to the U.S. Senate, Heller has worked to protect Nevada from destructive blazes and aid the state in recovery efforts. In addition to his recent work, in the 113th Congress, Heller introduced a similar version of the Emergency Fuel Reduction Act and also supported legislation to improve the ability of the government to collaborate with non-federal partners for important land-management projects, including those that can reduce the risk of wildfire. 

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