Advocates for wildfire funding reform are hoping a funding fix will be included in either the upcoming budget deal, omnibus, or disaster relief package. $28.6 billion of the latest package will go to the Department of Homeland Security which will reimburse 90 percent of state wildfire costs but additional funding is only a temporary solution to the perennial budget problems plaguing the U.S. Forest Service.
Negotiations between Republicans and Democrats have stalled over funding levels and controversial management reforms. Republicans argue management reforms and the funding fix should be addressed together while Democrats prefer to handle the issues in separate legislation. If Congress cannot reach a deal on a funding fix in time for the disaster supplemental or omnibus, it significantly diminishes the opportunity to address “fire-borrowing” until the 2018 Farm Bill.