Washington Department of Natural Resources

Washington Department of Natural Resources

Wildfire prevention will be a prominent part of the Washington legislature’s agenda in 2020. Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz is proposing the state create a new Wildfire Prevention and Preparedness Account.

“Every year, on average, we’re spending about $153 million just to respond to fires," Franz said. "The fact is we will not be able to change the trajectory we’re on of increasing wildfires throughout our state and the increasing cost of wildfires unless we start getting at the front end of the problem.”

She is proposing a surcharge on property and casualty insurance premiums.

Photo by Jennifer Roseman

The Washington Department of Natural Resources is making money these days by leasing land that is used for generating renewable energy.

The money raised goes to the state and school funding.

Department of Natural Resources

All the rain we expected this week is in direct contrast to last year, when Washington was dry and wildfires made the air the most hazardous in the nation because of the smoke.

Washington Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz says this year’s fire season has turned out much different than she anticipated back in the spring, when a record 54 fires had been reported by the second week of March.

Eastern Washington Fire Danger Level Elevated To Moderate

May 10, 2019
Jacob Frank/National Park Service

Washington state lands officials have warning people working and playing outdoors to be mindful of higher wildfire danger.

Today [Friday] they elevated the wildfire danger status in most of eastern and central Washington from low to moderate.

KOMO Television

 

The Washington Department of Natural Resources hopes the legislature will approve a larger budget for forest health and fire prevention.

The agency has put together its two-year budget wish list that will be presented to the governor and legislature in January.

Fire Crews Prep for Wildfire Season

Jun 9, 2017
Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Wildfire season has begun in the Inland Northwest.

The Spokane area hasn’t yet seen any major fires, but crews from several Spokane County fire departments know it’s only a matter of time. They’re practicing how they’ll react when they get the call. This week they’ve been holding drills on a hilly, forested residential lot in the south valley.

Inland Journal, June 8, 2017

Jun 8, 2017

This week on Inland Journal, we’ll talk with Spokane-area firefighters who are training this week for the summer wildfire season. There may finally be consensus to designate a stunning mountainous area along the Idaho-Montana border as wilderness. We’ll talk with a one-armed western Washington man who recently brought a personal message about workforce safety to Spokane area high schools. And Steve Jackson will take us to Felts Field for a showing of vintage airplanes.