Senator Gaines Calls For Special Legislative Session On California Wildfires

Thursday, August 16, 2018

SACRAMENTO – Senator Ted Gaines (R-El Dorado) today submitted a letter to Governor Brown requesting he convene a special session of the legislature this fall to address California’s wildfire crisis.

“The Governor and I were together in Shasta County where we witnessed the Carr Fire devastation, and how these fires can flatten entire communities in minutes,” said Senator Gaines. “California must do more to prevent fires, protect property and save lives. I’m calling on the Governor to convene a special session so we can take action on making our state fire safe.”

While the legislative conference committee is currently focusing its attention on some wildfire issues, there simply is not enough time for meaningful action to be taken on this worsening fire situation before the legislature adjourns in two weeks.

Senator Gaines proposes a special session this fall dedicated to addressing wildfire-related issues, including: fuels reduction strategies; hardening of the urban/wilderness interface; increased logging and increased biomass use; improved federal, state, and local coordination; innovative strategies for fire suppression and forest management; private party incentives for fuels reductions; specific regional challenges facing our state; and local autonomy to address specific local fire conditions.

Senator Gaines suggests the solutions come with aggressive timelines, and hard-and-fast completion dates so that all parties can be held accountable. He also asks that the solutions do not place any greater burden on the backs of taxpayers.

“I know that too often the first impulse in politics is to raise taxes to solve any problem, however, this state is sitting on a multi-billion dollar surplus. That money should be used to make California fire safe, protect our citizens and avoid billions in future spending through better prevention,” said Senator Gaines.