As lawmakers across the country return to their Capitol posts, some are kicking off the new year with legislation calling for increased wildfire resources, funding, upgrades, and additional aircraft and crew.

A bill introduced in Washington requests $125 million for wildfire response over the next two years and in California, Gov. Newsom’s recent budget calls for $1 billion to fund wildfire resiliency and emergency response. These specific calls for resources come after both states experienced the most destructive and deadly wildfire seasons in recent history.

Aerial Firefighting offers endless possibilities for the future of wildfire management.

Unfortunately, I’ve seen the devastation first-hand while I was serving as the National Guard dual-status commander for the Camp Fire in Paradise, California.

The Camp Fire was a deadly fire that decimated the entire town of Paradise. Among other things, the experience taught me a lot about how my home state of California and others can adapt and rise to the challenges that mega-wildfires bring. We must continue to incorporate new strategies and adopt innovative technology that will help us protect more homes and lives.

One quickly-advancing sector is Aerial Firefighting. Aerial Firefighting offers endless possibilities for the future of wildfire management because it provides additional capacity to the ground crews from the air and has uncapped potential for technological advancements that will surely shape the future of firefighting.

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