A new federal law aims to protect wildland firefighters by requiring agencies to outfit crews with GPS locators and deploy drones to scout out and map blazes.
The Wildfire Management Technology Advancement Act, sponsored by U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., was signed by President Donald Trump last week after sailing through both chambers of Congress with large majorities. It was packaged with more than 130 other bills covering a variety of natural resource programs.
The law also includes provisions related to wildfire smoke, which has choked Eastern Washington several summers in a row.
On Wednesday, Cantwell joined fire and health experts at the Spokane Fire Department’s training center to tout the legislation, which was co-sponsored by Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo.
“Senator Gardner and I both represent states that have been greatly impacted by wildland fires, so we worked together to bring new technology to the table,” Cantwell said.