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Gov. Walz, President Biden discuss wildfire crisis and announce new prevention efforts

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WASHINGTON, D.C -- The severe wildfires on the rise are grabbing the attention of our state and national leaders.

RELATED: WATCH: President Biden, Gov. Walz discuss Canadian wildfire air quality crisis

President Biden met with bipartisan state governors Friday in a virtual briefing to discuss ways the White House can aid fire prevention help where it's needed most.

"We're in for a long fight yet this year, and the only way that we're gonna meet those challenges is by working together. Wildfires are a problem for all of us and we have to stay closely coordinated in doing everything we can for our people," Biden said.

Gov. Walz, who also attended the briefing, with Montana and California governors, advocated for various climate investments by engaging in more coordination between federal, state, and local governments.

Walz asked President Biden for more federal action recognizing the extreme drought conditions in the state, requesting farm expansion to cattle farms.

“I’m grateful to President Biden for convening this conversation to help ensure we’re working together at all levels of government to address the impacts of the drought – from wildfires to dry fields and pastures," said Walz.

As of Friday, crews are fighting a 223-acre Fourtown Lake fire in the Boundary Waters.

They spent this week fighting the spread from the air using a special method to guide the fire toward a natural barrier.

During Friday's briefing, President Biden advocated for fire prevention effort funds for forest management and restoring high-risk areas to protect homes and public water sources for drinking.

President Biden also announced the launch of a new "Air Now" app, as Minnesota reaches its worse air quality levels.

The app tracks the latest information regarding wildfire impact on air and smoke quality in specific locations.

Abigael Smith

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