Dem says budget cuts making Oregon fires worse

"The prevailing attitude by these bureaucrats — many of whom have never been west of the Mississippi River — is that this is a waste of money," DeFazio said. "The Obama administration just cut the fuel reduction down to Bush levels from levels not much higher."

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DeFazio supported legislation in the past that helped reduce a build up of "ladder" fuels, which are any vegetation that help fires spread from the forest floor to the forest canopy. He said legislation he supported allowed up to half a billion dollars in funding to reduce these ladder fuels, but he said that funding has been chopped.

On top of that, he said cuts to other programs are making it harder to fight fires once they start. DeFazio said the lack of available air tankers has forced people to rely on National Guard planes, which are less effective than planes meant to fight forest fires.