President Joe Biden landed at the Boise Airport on Monday, Sept. 13, to visit the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise to assess recent wildfire damage.
Bident’s visit was announced during the White House’s Sept. 9 press briefing, where press secretary Jen Psaki shared that the president will be taking a two-day Western tour to address the region’s increasingly belligerent fire seasons.
“The President will highlight how wildfire season is now a year-round event because of climate change … and how one in three Americans have been impacted by severe weather events in recent months,” Psaki said. “He will also speak about the economic impacts of extreme weather and the urgent need for key investments to fight climate change and in resilient infrastructure.”
Biden’s trip to Boise marks the first time in over 6 years that a sitting U.S. president has visited Idaho, though the conditions prompting this visit are less than ideal.
So far this season, Idaho has spent around $52 million towards fire suppression efforts according to an article from the Idaho Statesman. The state is only expected to receive a $1.6 million reimbursement.
The Center for Disaster Philanthropy also reported 20 active fires in Idaho as of Sept. 7, burning a total of 153,267 acres.
In addition to discussion with NIFC leaders about the current wildfire situation in the West, Boise mayor Lauren McLean will also be in attendance to discuss city plans to combat climate change.
“I am looking forward to welcoming @POTUS to Boise,” McLean wrote in an Instagram post on Thursday. “I’m excited to share our progress and discuss ways that the President’s Build Back Better plan could help us leverage local resources to invest in long term resilient infrastructure to mitigate the impacts of climate.”
Following his visit to Boise, Biden will travel to Sacramento and Long Beach, California, before concluding his Western tour in Denver, Colorado.