Congressman Valadao Introduces Legislation to Enhance Firefighting Technology
Washington, May 16, 2023 | Faith Mabry
Congressman David G. Valadao (CA-22) and Congressman Jim Costa (CA-21) introduced the Emergency Wildfire Fighting Technology Act. Some of California’s largest and most destructive wildfires have happened in the last five years.
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman David G. Valadao (CA-22) and Congressman Jim Costa (CA-21) introduced the Emergency Wildfire Fighting Technology Act. Some of California’s largest and most destructive wildfires have happened in the last five years. Recent atmospheric rivers are expected to lead to intense growth and an increased amount of tree branches and trees on the ground – which will act as more fuel for fires later into the season.
These factors underscore an urgent need to increase investment in alternative firefighting systems. This bipartisan legislation seeks to meet that need by evaluating and updating deployment protocols for Containerized Aerial Fire Fighting Systems (CAFFS).
“California’s wildfires have devastated homes, businesses, communities, and ecosystems throughout our state,” said Congressman Valadao. “Ahead of wildfire season, we need to ensure our firefighters are equipped with the most up-to-date technology to combat and contain these fires in a quicker, more efficient way. I’m proud to introduce the Emergency Wildfire Fighting Technology Act to provide our ground crews with dependable cover from the air.”
“In recent years, we've watched growingly intense wildfires destroy entire communities, taking lives and leaving homes and business in ashes,” said Congressman Costa. “We need to adapt the way we combat these threats and invest in tools like aerial firefighting technology to suppress wildfires. I'm hopeful this legislation can help better protect our communities.”
Read a one-pager on the bill here.
Read the full text of the bill here.
Reps. Valadao and Costa were joined in introduction by Western Caucus Chairman Dan Newhouse (WA-04), Reps. Darrell Issa (CA-48), Mark Amodei (NV-03), John Curtis (UT-03), and Doug Lamborn (CO-05).
Background:Currently, aerial firefighting systems for C-130 planes primarily rely on tanks and compressed air release mechanisms. The introduction of the Containerized Aerial Fire Fighting System overcomes these limitations, allowing for the deployment of airdrop-capable disposable containers for water or fire retardant. This significant advancement dramatically increases the number of available airlift assets for wildfire emergencies. The CAFFS permits safe 24-hour operations, expanding aircraft options and empowering firefighting crews to combat wildfires around the clock, bolstering their ability to swiftly address emergency situations.