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Rep. Torres Amendment Addresses Increased Threat of Landslides Due to Wildfires

December 21, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC— Rep. Norma J. Torres (CA-35) released the following statement following the passage of her amendment to the National Landslide Preparedness Act.

“Many don’t know that wildfire activity increases the risk of landslides and flooding,” said Torres. “My amendment is a small addition to the National Landslide Preparedness Act, which simply states that we should also address and study potential landslides in relation to wildfires. California has experienced a great deal of landslides that have crippled our infrastructure; from this year’s Mud Creek landslide to La Conchita’s 2005 mudslide that killed seven adults and three innocent children.  By giving state and local governments the resources to identify burned areas that become susceptible to landslides post-wildfires, we can begin to make the necessary plans to stop the next catastrophe.”

Wildfires severely damage forest canopy and vegetation, both of which hold the soil in place; this amendment will study and analyze these areas. This year alone, wildfires have damaged more than 15,000 structures, scorched over 234,000 acres of land, and have killed 45 people. Torres added, “As our brave first responders continue to work around the clock, it’s our responsibility to start thinking about the aftermath of wildfires to help prevent future loss of life and property.”

Earlier this month, the Natural Resources Committee unanimously passed Rep. Torres’s amendment. Congresswoman Norma Torres currently serves as the Ranking Member on the Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs Subcommittee on the House Committee on Natural Resources.

Video of the address can be seen here and downloaded here.