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Rep. Young Kim on House Floor

Apr 29, 2024 | Press Releases, Wildfires

Washington, DC – Today, the House passed the Fire Weather Development Act (H.R. 4866), a bipartisan bill introduced by U.S. Representatives Young Kim (CA-40), Mike Garcia (CA-27), and Yadira Caraveo (CO-08) to expand fire weather and environment monitoring and forecasting capabilities.

Included in the Fire Weather Development Act are two bipartisan bills by Rep. Kim to improve wildfire detection and communications efforts:

“With peak wildfire season approaching, Southern California firefighters need all tools at hand to protect our communities. Getting the right information to the right people at the right time in a wildfire can make the difference between life and death,” said Rep. Young Kim. “I’m thrilled the House passed the Fire Weather Development Act to update communications tools for first responders and expand early detection and forecasting efforts. I will keep fighting to get this through the finish line so we can save lives.”

The Fire Weather Development Act directs NOAA to create and improve fire weather and environment forecasting and detection through federal, state, and local collaboration by:

  • Allowing NOAA to enter private contracts to gain airborne and space-based data to enhance fire weather and fire environment monitoring and prediction;
  • Giving NOAA the ability to assess drone use to improve data collection and to conduct drone pilot programs;
  • Creating an Interagency Coordinating Committee on Wildfires to accurately detect and forecast wildfires to assist state and local emergency officials;
  • Setting up a National Advisory Committee on Wildfires to offer recommendations on wildfire forecasting communication and opportunities to streamline Federal forecasting and detection data to local communities;
  • Developing a fire weather testbed to evaluate technology and fire weather tools and services; and,

Directing NOAA to submit an assessment of National Weather Service workforce challenges for Incident Meteorologists and a plan of action to address these challenges.

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