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Case Releases Guide To Federal Resources And Assistance To Prevent, Mitigate And Respond To Further Wildfires

On sixth month anniversary of Maui wildfire, he addresses critical need to maximize and coordinate federal assistance with state, local and community efforts to prevent future disasters

(Washington, DC) – Six months after the devastating Maui wildfires, U.S. Representative Ed Case (HI-01) today released a comprehensive guide to federal resources to assist Hawai‘i in preventing, mitigating and responding to continuing wildfire risks across the state.

Case’s Hawai‘i Wildfire Prevention/Mitigation/Response: Guide to Federal Resources and Assistance (copy attached) identifies twelve key federal, state, county and non-government organizations responsible for wildfire risk and response, along with ten key existing federal programs offering financial and technical assistance.

It also outlines specific further Congressional action items, from increased annual appropriations to greater military participation and changes to federal programs to improve federal participation and focus on specific needs.

“For the last six months, I have joined my Hawai‘i Congressional delegation partners in fully focusing on assuring our federal government does all it can to respond fully at all levels to the tragic Maui wildfires,” said Case, a member of the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations and of its Subcommittee on Homeland Security with jurisdiction over operation and funding of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the federal government’s principal disaster prevention and response agency.

“We have made good progress, including an estimated billion dollars of federal assistance spent or obligated to date, but this will be a continuing years-long effort.

“But as critical as that effort will remain, it is equally critical to recognize that the Maui wildfires were not an isolated occurrence over the past decade-plus, as we have seen since above Mililani Mauka. They also exposed vulnerabilities in our preparedness for disaster across our state. 

“We must learn and act on the lessons of Maui now, including the immediate need to fully review where we face similar risks elsewhere in our state; identify, coordinate and mobilize resources for wildfire risk prevention, mitigation and response; and take full action now to prevent another such tragedy and to mitigate and respond to further wildfires as they may occur.

“Our federal government has a major role to play in this effort, one we must be sure to maximize and coordinate. 

“To that end, my office, working with state and county partners, created this guide identify the major federal, state, county and community organizations responsible for addressing wildfire risk along with the major federal programs which provide funding and other assistance to address wildfire risk and response, as well as some specific federal initiatives that will improve these efforts. I will use this plan as a guide for my own efforts in Congress.”

Case provided his guide to his state and county government partners and asked that they “review it especially for opportunities to work with me to expand federal funding and other assistance and otherwise coordinate our state, local and community efforts with our federal government.”

The principal federal programs which Case highlighted to his state and county colleagues are administered by three U.S. Departments: Interior, Agriculture and Homeland Security. Case said he is focused on improving and funding these programs as he works now in Appropriations on preparing the federal budget for upcoming Fiscal Year 2025 (commencing October 1st of this year). 

Attachment: 2024 Wildfire Guide