Changing how we fight fires: that was the topic during a visit by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell to Redding to see some of the damage from wild land fires.Â
Jewell is assessing the damage since a state of emergency was declared by Governor Jerry Brown asking for more funding to not only fight fires but prevent them.
Jewell says the funding has been there for fire suppression in the past.Â
"Prevention money goes into suppression, which actually makes this a downward spiral in terms in the intensity of fire, the amount of fuels built up and the risk that we put our men and women in that are out fighting the fires," she said.Â
So the change is to fight fires in California year-round.Â
"What we want to do is keep those accounts intact. It also employs people year-round, in work that is very meaningful to them and very helpful to us, to reduce this cycle of wild land fire," she said.Â
The Emergency Supplemental Funding Bill budgets $615 million for fire suppression.
For the past two years, Congress has been forced to appropriate more than $1 billion to repay funds that were transferred from other programs to pay for firefighting shortfalls.
The bill will be considered after the senate returns form summer break.Â