RENO, Nev. (KOLO) A severe fire season raises concerns over federal funding. US Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) toured Station 12 of the Reno Fire Department Friday and says securing federal dollars for local fire departments is a top priority.
"The issue right now is fighting for those federal dollars," Cortez Masto says.
Reno Fire Chief Dave Cochran says the current needs extend beyond the local department.
"There are needs for suppression monies and also mitigation monies," Cochran says.
He says the funds are extremely important to a fire-prone Nevada.
"That's where you're going to get the most bang for your buck from those prevention efforts," he says.
More than one million acres burned this past season.
"Yes, we put that out," Cochran says, "And we mitigate those emergencies, but the best way to mitigate an emergency is to prevent it from happening."
Senator Cortez Masto says money is shifted during severe fire seasons between different federal accounts.
"That's gotta stop," she says. "Unfortunately this is our norm now and we need to now adequately fund the resources necessary to combat these wild fires."
Cortez Masto says she is hopeful Congress will pass a budget come February 8 and not another continuing resolution. The Senate reconvenes January 29.