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State of Emergency Declared, Appropriations Bill Passes House Committee

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  • A state of emergency was declared late Tuesday in 20 Eastern Washington counties in response to multiple wildfires threatening homes, businesses, public infrastructure, and natural resources in many parts of the state as fire crews face continued severe fire weather conditions.

    Firefighters are battling multiple fires in eastern Washington, including six that started on Tuesday. The fires are threatening more than 500 homes, resulting in numerous evacuations and may result in additional damage.

    Extreme fire weather conditions and a lack of available firefighting resources could hamper future firefighting efforts in the state.

  • The House Interior appropriations bill passed through committee Tuesday.

    The bill allocates how federal dollars are spent for the Department of Interior, EPA and related agencies. It includes language that is important to keeping livestock producers in business such as blocking the listing of Sage Grouse and requiring alternative allotments where ranchers are impacted by drought or wildfire without the need to complete extensive environmental analyses.

    The bill also includes a permanent extension of a grazing rider that would allow livestock grazing to continue while the renewal process is held up.

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