Japan is lifting some of its bans on imports of live poultry and poultry meat from the United States. The bans were put in place earlier this year due to the U.S. outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza. Imports from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, California, Kansas, Arkansas, Montana and Indiana as well as British Columbia can resume. Restrictions remain on live poultry and poultry products from the Midwest. Japan announced a new ban in place on imports from New Jersey within six miles of farms where the low pathogenic avian flu was discovered. Japan’s move follows a similar move lifting bans on U.S. poultry by Canada earlier last week.

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced spending on efforts to fight wildfires now tops $1 billion this year. At a news conference in Oregon last week, Vilsack stated the Forest Service is spending more than $150 million a week fighting several dozen blazes. Vilsack joined Oregon Democrat Senator Ron Wyden, who is cosponsoring a bill that would assign national disaster status to the largest one to two percent of wildfires. The bill would also free up emergency funding and preventing borrowing from fire prevention budgets.