WASHINGTON, DC — Democratic Congressmen Raul Ruiz, M.D., and Mike Thompson , along with 40 California lawmakers on Friday sent a letter calling on the Trump Administration to take immediate action to make up for lost fire prevention and mitigation efforts that were put on hold during the 35-day government shutdown.

These activities include prescribed burns, training for firefighters, and the hiring of seasonal firefighters.

The government reopened Monday after a 35-day partial shutdown, the longest in U.S. history that left 800,000 workers without paychecks.

The letter, according to a news release, was signed by: Reps. Raul Ruiz, M.D., Mike Thompson, Nanette Barragán, Karen Bass, Ami Bera, Julia Brownley, Salud Carbajal, Tony Cárdenas, Judy Chu, Gil Cisneros, J. Luis Correa, Jim Costa, TJ Cox, Susan Davis, Mark DeSaulnier, Anna Eshoo, John Garamendi, Jimmy Gomez, Josh Harder, Katie Hill, Jared Huffman, Ro Khanna, Barbara Lee, Mike Levin, Ted Lieu, Zoe Lofgren, Alan Lowenthal, Doris Matsui, Jerry McNerney, Grace Napolitano, Jimmy Panetta, Scott Peters, Harley Rouda, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Adam Schiff, Brad Sherman, Jackie Speier, Eric Swalwell, Mark Takano, Norma Torres, Juan Vargas, and Maxine Waters.

“I’m very concerned that planning for prescribed burns in our mountain communities may have been delayed or shelved altogether this year because of the reckless and irresponsible government shutdown,” Ruiz said in a prepared statement. “We need a full accounting of the delayed activities, and the Administration must do everything possible to make up for lost time to protect our communities and possibly save lives and livelihoods.”

Also in a prepared statement, Thompson, whose district was hit by the Mendocino Complex fire in 2018, the largest fire in California history, said, “Our state has been hit hard by fires over the last few years and the federal government should be doing everything possible to help residents recover and mitigate future fire risk. I am deeply concerned that the recent partial shutdown has slowed efforts to allow our fire personnel to be trained and do their job.  That’s why I led my colleagues in urging the Administration to do everything possible to get these efforts up and running right away so our state and our nation are prepared for fire season.”

You may read the letter from Ruiz and others in its entirety by clicking here.