PNW lawmakers want faster FEMA response for wildfire victims

(The Center Square) – Three congressional members from Pacific Northwest have introduced bipartisan measures which aim to improve coordination between local, state, and federal agencies and tribal nations to deliver resources faster in the aftermath of disastrous wildfires.

The bills are a response to the 2020 Babb Road Fire which destroyed most of the small town of Malden in eastern Washington’s Whitman County and the Gray and Oregon Road fires in Spokane County which burned 366 homes and claimed two lives last August.

Named after the town, the MALDEN ACT – Making Aid for Local Disasters Equal Now – is sponsored by U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and James Risch, R-Idaho. In a press release Tuesday, they said it is a companion bill to one introduced in November by 5th Congressional District Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a Republican from Spokane.

“After the 2020 fire that destroyed the town of Malden — and even
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