Top U.S. senator urges staff boost to mitigate effects of Canada’s wildfires

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Thursday called on Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to double the number of U.S. personnel available to help fight raging wildfires in Canada and to mitigate risks to air quality in the United States.

The top House Democrat said he would send a letter to Vilsack outlining his demands, while calling the wildfires that have led to unhealthy air quality in major US cities the latest example of the climate crisis world.

“The climate crisis is real and it’s here to stay. We need to take action on the climate crisis, both short-term and long-term,” Schumer said in a speech to the Senate.

“I call on Secretary Tom Vilsack to double the number of Forest Service personnel deployed to fight these fires,” he added. “I call on the Secretary of Agriculture to double the number of employees to mitigate the risk in the air for millions of Americans.”

(Reporting by David Morgan, Katharine Jackson and Rami Ayyub; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

Leave a Comment