State House OK’s Long-Range Plan to Prevent Wildfires

Tuesday in virtual Olympia the House gave unanimous approval to a sweeping 20-year plan to revamp Washington’s wildfire prevention and suppression systems. Dan Frizzell from the House Democratic Caucus has more.

In the 1990s, Washington lost 86,000 acres a year to wildfires. By 2015 the average had climbed to nearly a half million acres a year. Last year? 812,000 acres of forests and grassland were destroyed by wildfires, not to mention homes, businesses, wildlife, and at least one human life. Tuesday afternoon in virtual Olympia, lawmakers in the state House OK’d a bipartisan 20-year plan to turn those numbers around. Kirkland Representative Larry Springer sponsored the bill.

SPRINGER: “The idea that we should just wait for a bigger snowpack or perhaps a wet summer is not a plan. It’s delusion. We have to do something to establish healthy forests to be more resistant to wildfires. 

Springer, a Democrat, worked closely with Republican allies and the Department of Natural Resources to develop the bill, which left the House with a unanimous vote of 96 to zero. It’s now been passed to the Senate for consideration. In Olympia, Dan Frizzell.