Wildfire Concerns Grow for Next Summer
The head of the department of natural resources is asking state lawmakers to provide more money for efforts to both reduce the threat of wildfires and be able to fight them next year.
Washington State has had two catastrophic wildlife seasons in a row that consumed a total of 1. 5 million acres of forest and grasslands.
Peter Goldmark worries that next year might be even worse.
He is asking the legislature to approve a total of $24 million to get more firefighters, improve training, get more equipment, and do more forest and private land treatments to reduce the threat of fire.
"They’re aware the cost of fighting the fires in the state was $300 million, the state’s share was $160 million, so my $24 million request is small to do the work, if you haven’t trained together and done the capacity.”
Goldmark says compounding the funding issue is the fact the US Forest Service must pull money from other projects each year to use for fire suppression, money that could be better spent preventing fires through various means.