ISABELLA, MN -- U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) and Governor Tim Walz visited the Forward Operating Base in Isabella, Minnesota today to receive a briefing from officials battling the wildfires and to survey fire damage.
“As the wildfires in northern Minnesota continue, it’s more important than ever that we ensure affected communities have the resources they need,” said Senator Klobuchar. “I’m grateful to the firefighters who have made progress containing this fire, and I stand ready to support all efforts to suppress the wildfires, recover quickly, and put the resources into managing and maintaining our forest.”
“I want to thank the men and women who are tirelessly fighting these wildfires,” said Senator Smith. “They all deserve our gratitude, and it’s my job to make sure the federal government is doing everything it can to support them. I also want to thank the folks at Forward Operating Base who took time to fill us in on what is happening.”
“Minnesotans are feeling a cautious sense of relief as residents are returning to their homes and the fires lose intensity,” said Governor Walz. “We owe our thanks to the tireless efforts of firefighters and first responders in containing the Greenwood fire. But we have more difficult weeks ahead of us, and it’s important for Minnesotans to continue to follow fire safety restrictions.”
Last week, Senators Klobuchar and Smith sent a letter to the U.S. Forest Service requesting the agency work closely with state and local partners on a coordinated interagency response to the wildfires and deploy resources and personnel to northern Minnesota as necessary. In August, Senator Klobuchar urged the U.S. Department of Agriculture to deploy air quality specialists to Minnesota to provide technical support to communities impacted by wildfire smoke.
Governor Walz met with President Biden on July 30 to ask for continued federal partnership in confronting the drought and wildfires, and has authorized the Minnesota National Guard to support the wildfire response both in Minnesota and in Washington State. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has worked closely with federal partners to contain the fire.
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