Getting an early jump on fire season

Last week I got the opportunity to speak to 150 fire commissioners and fire chiefs, the brave men and women who make up our local fire districts. Our partnership is a critical part of DNR’s wildfire response; together we’re able to protect people, communities and resources from wildfire. We’ll be coming together again this spring, when we’ll lead an inter-agency training for nearly 1,000 firefighters.

Time together before we face the challenges of wildfire season is critical. I shared with them my vision for managing vegetation and fuels, protecting communities, reducing human caused wildfires and safely and effectively responding to wildfires.

As we now work together with our local state and federal partners to develop my 20-Year Forest Health Strategic Plan for Eastern Washington, I emphasized how the change we’re seeking in the health of our forests won’t happen immediately. We need to continue to do all we can to protect people, communities and our natural resources from the threat of wildfire. Part of that will come with additional funding, which is why I’m requesting $1.7 million from the legislature this year to train more firefighters, increase fire response and readiness in Western Washington, and improve systems for wildfire data, finance, forest health and firefighting resources.

I want to thank the fire personnel who joined me this week and to all who continue to persevere in making our communities and resources more resilient.

by Hilary Franz, Commissioner of Public Lands, @CommissionerHilaryFranz

Find out what’s happening with wildfire protection, forestry rules and what’s happening on the 5.6 million acres of state trust lands with email updates from Hilary Franz and DNR.