LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Nevada Sen. Jacky Rosen is co-sponsoring the Wildfire Smoke Emergency Declaration Act, her office announced Tuesday.
The act would allow the U.S. to declare a "smoke emergency" when wildfire smoke causes hazardous air quality conditions.
This comes on the heels of the 69% contained Caldor Fire, which led to hazardous air conditions for Northern Nevada cities that lasted weeks.
“Last month, Nevada recorded the worst air quality index levels on record due to the toxic smoke caused by wildfires. This summer, we’ve seen Nevada schools closed, COVID vaccine clinics cancel appointments, and local airports ground flights, all because of the dangerous impact of hazardous wildfire smoke,” said Sen. Rosen in a prepared statement to media. “The high concentration of fine particulate matter in the smoke-filled air can worsen illnesses like asthma and heart disease and make healthy lungs more susceptible to illnesses like COVID-19."
"I’m proud to co-sponsor this legislation, which would allow the president to declare an emergency, authorizing federal agencies to take action and assist communities in need. As Nevada navigates through this challenging wildfire season, I will continue fighting to bring resources and support to the Silver State," she said.
The "smoke emergency" declaration would allow federal agencies to provide emergency assistance to states and local communities to establish smoke shelters, assist with relocation efforts and install emergency smoke monitors, her office said.
The bill would also allow the Small Business Administration to provide financial relief to businesses affected by wildfire smoke.