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HOUSE BILL MAY HELP FIGHT FIRES

SHARE HOUSE BILL MAY HELP FIGHT FIRES

A bill has cleared the U.S. House of Representatives that may help Idaho in case of another summer of disastrous forest fires.

H.R. 1011 establishes a temporary National Commission on Wildfire Disasters to study the effects of forest fires on timber, other natural resources and communities.The bill also requires the Agriculture and Interior departments to offer annual training programs to certify volunteer firefighters. And it mandates reports from the secretaries of Agriculture and the Interior on local mobilization capacities, plans and needs in areas around federal lands highly prone to forest fires.

The Commission on Wildfire Disasters will be composed of 13 members appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture and 12 members appointed by the Secretary of the Interior. The commission will submit recommendation for the future management of National Forest System lands, national parks, Bureau of Land Management lands and communities affected by wildfires.

The commission's findings on how wildfires affect these areas is scheduled for completion by Dec. 1, 1991.