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Gov. Cox meets with President Biden on western wildfires

Posted at 3:33 PM, Jun 30, 2021

SALT LAKE CITY — President Biden met with Governor Spencer Cox and other western governors to discuss climate change, drought and resources to fight wildfires.

"We know this is becoming a regular cycle and we know it's getting worse," the president said. "In fact, the threat of wildfires this year is as severe as it's ever been."

President Biden's virtual meeting with the governors of Utah, California, Wyoming, Nevada, Oregon, New Mexico, Washington and Colorado included a commitment of more resources to fight wildfires, as well as a pay hike for firefighters on the ground.

"Wildfires are not a partisan phenomenon," the president said.

Speaking to reporters at the Utah State Capitol after a news conference on fireworks and wildfires, Gov. Cox said President Biden also agreed they can do more to manage lands that are at extreme risk.

"Those are messages we haven’t heard in the past and we all agree," the governor said. "So Bark Beetle infestations, getting rid of invasive pinyon and juniper which is spreading and crowding out the aspens. They use so much more water and kill everything around them."