Two Witnesses from the State of Washington to Testify at Senate Hearing on Wildland Fires

Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. EST / 7:00 a.m. PST

November 16, 2015

Washington, DC – Tomorrow, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, will welcome two witnesses from the state of Washington to testify on wildland fire issues before the committee.

Sen. Cantwell has been working to strengthen the resiliency of our communities facing the threat of wildland fires. This summer, Sen. Cantwell toured the state of Washington, holding a field hearing, several roundtables, and informal discussions with local residents and elected officials to give a voice to those who suffered from the effects of devastating wildland fires.

As ranking member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Sen. Cantwell has secured two witnesses from the state of Washington who were intimately involved in the wildland fires for the past two years. They will discuss both their experiences this past fire season and their recommendations for improvements to wildland fire management at the federal level.

Mike Burnett serves as the fire chief of Chelan County Fire District 1, which is located in the Wenatchee Valley of Central Washington. Mike was the commander of the Sleepy Hollow Fire. He also served as the planning chief for a type 1 incident management team that oversaw a number of fires that burned this summer in the eastern part of the state, including the North Star, Newby Lake and Tunk Block fires. Jon Wyss serves as the chairman of the Okanogan County Long-Term Recovery Group, which provides advice and strategic assistance to communities transitioning from response to recovery of wildland fires. A full list of witnesses can be found below.

The hearing will be live webcast here; archived video will be available after the hearing at the same link. Join the conversation on Twitter using @EnergyDems and #wildlandfire.


Ms. Anne-Marie Fennell
Director of the Natural Resources and Environment Team, U.S. Government Accountability Office

Mr. John “Chris” Maisch
State Forester and Director of the Forestry Division, Alaska Department of Natural Resources

Dr. William Wallace Covington
Regents’ Professor of Forest Ecology, Northern Arizona University

Mr. Richard B. Zerkel
President, Lynden Air Cargo

Mr. Mike Burnett
Fire Chief, Chelan County Fire District 1

Mr. Jon Wyss
Chairman, Okanogan County Long-Term Recovery Group

Tuesday, November 17, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. EST / 7:00 a.m. PST

Committee Hearing on Wildland Fires and Management Strategies

SD-366 or Watch Online Here