March 29, 2019

Washington, DC – Representative John Curtis (R-UT), member of the House Committee on Natural Resources, spoke at the Natural Resources oversight hearing on “Examining the Department of the Interior’s Spending Priorities and the President’s Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Proposal.”

The congressman questioned Scott J. Cameron, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Policy, Management, and Budget, US Department of the Interior, on the Department of the Interior’s efforts to prevent, and fight, future wildfires on federal land.

“We had some of the largest fires in the State’s history, Pole Creek Fire and Bald Mountain Fire, last year. I was really pleased with my constituents’ response to these fires but there was an underlying frustration that because of the fuels, you’ve mentioned—this didn’t need to happen.”

Background

Last year, Utah battled the worst wildfire season in recent memory. In September, the Bald Mountain Fire burned nearly 20,000 acres of land, and threatened Utahns in Elk Ridge City. Instead of burning the city, the fire suddenly halted, stayed behind a mountain peak, and spared the community. After the unnamed peak began to be referred to as “Miracle Mountain” by many locals, Congressman Curtis introduced legislation to federally recognize the name “Miracle Mountain”.

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