CARSON CITY, Nev. (KTXL) — After touring the devastation left behind by the Tamarack Fire in Gardnerville, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak had a plea Wednesday to the federal government.
“We’ve got this many, hundreds of thousands of acres of land to protect, we need more bodies and we need more air support in order to be effective in doing this,” Gov. Sisolak said. “So what we’ve got has been great, we could not ask more of the men and women that have been out here fighting, but we need more.”
Both governors said the Biden administration needs to step up the country’s firefighting and preventing resources.
“It’s not an indictment, it’s not finger-pointing, it’s not novel, it’s not new to the Biden administration, or even the previous administration,” Gov. Newsom said. “We just have historic framework that has to be thrown out.”
Sisolak and Newsom took in the destruction from the wildfire, which has so far destroyed dozens of structures and forced thousands to flee. Standing in front of flattened homes and twisted steel, the governors noted the fire started on federal land in California and scorched into Nevada.
Sisolak said the U.S. Forest Service is understaffed and under-resourced and has been for years, which may have contributed to the fire’s condition.
“This one didn’t start as that big of a situation and, unfortunately, it was prioritized down because they thought it wasn’t going to be this bad,” he said. “If we would’ve had enough resources, we could’ve knocked this one out early and prevented a lot of this damage.”
Newsom noted 13 states are working to put out 90 large-scale fires burning across the country as the West Coast dries further into a megadrought.
“This is very consequential and as a consequence, we need to disabuse ourselves that we can continue to do what we’ve done,” he said.
Both governors said later this week, they will be following up and discussing these issues with President Joe Biden.