U.S. Congressman Paul Gosar, DDS (AZ-01) has introduced H.R. 922, The Burn Area Prevention Act of 2011, legislation oriented towards protecting individuals whose property is directly affected by disasters on federal lands. Specifically, the bill authorizes the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to waive the 30-day waiting period for flood insurance when private property faces a flood threat caused by wildfire.
H.R. 922 would also establish a multi-agency “Schultz Fire Flooding Area Task Force” to address the devastating flooding that occurred on July 20, 2010 as a result of the Schultz Pass Fire in Coconino National Forest. The task force is charged to evaluate the disaster and recommend an integrated long-term flood protection system, within sixty days of enactment. Furthermore, the task force would be responsible for finding funding, technical assistance, and construction of flood relief projects.
“It is absolutely vital that Congress address the Schultz Fire disaster and the tragedy that occurred,” said Gosar. “The federal government bears the responsibility for what happens on federal land. As a result of the Schultz Fire, thousands in my community were left unprotected from raging flood waters and had insufficient time to purchase flood insurance. I urge my colleagues in Congress to address this legislation and bring much needed relief to the families who still remain in danger of hazardous flooding year after year.”
“I appreciate Congressman Gosar’s efforts to assist with the Schultz Fire restoration. It is absolutely necessary that the federal government shoulder much of the financial burden for the welfare and safety of the families downstream of the catastrophic Schultz Fire,” said Chairman of the Coconino County Board of Supervisors Mandy Metzger. “Time is of the essence and the Congressman’s quick response to this matter is of extreme importance.”
“I would like to thank Congressman Gosar for introducing this important legislation,” said Coconino County Supervisor Liz Archuleta. “This issue is of critical importance to the approximately 8,000 residents of the area who have and will continue to experience devastating flooding because of the Schultz Fire, a fire which occurred on federal land. Congressman Gosar has clearly acknowledged the responsibility of the federal government and has recognized that the federal government must be part of the short and long-term solutions in the Schultz flood area.”
Dr. Paul Gosar is serving his first term in Congress as the Representative to Arizona’s First Congressional District. As a healthcare provider and small business owner, Gosar is focused on bringing jobs back to the district, reforming health care, reining in government spending and ensuring that his constituents are involved in the solution process. For more information, visit his website at www.gosar.house.gov.