Western WA Saw 50 Wildfires In Just One Week of March

Bonnie Johnson - Thursday, April 04, 2019
Western WA Saw 50 Wildfires In Just One Week of March

It is going to be a very busy summer. Last year was the busiest year ever for the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and this year may be ramping up to beat that record.

DNR is the the state’s wildfire fighting agency, and responded to more than 1,850 wildfires, across 440,000 acres last year. Of those, forty percent were west of the Cascades.

On March 28th, Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz and Senate Democrats presented legislation to reduce Washington’s wildfire risk and create healthier forests. She also reminded all Washingtonians that “this is not an eastside or westside problem.” It’s simply a problem for all of Washington, be it threat of loss of home or property or the health risks associated with unhealthy air.

“This groundbreaking proposal establishes a dedicated revenue source and raises $62.5 million annually to fund wildfire suppression and prevention.”

“Never before have our wildland firefighters had to ask for so much, but never before have we faced a wildfire crisis of this magnitude,” said Franz in a press release. “In the face of this crisis, we need bold, forward-thinking investments to keep our forests healthy, our air clean, and our communities safe from fire.”

“Year after year, we rely on our state’s rainy day fund to reimburse catastrophic fire response. It’s time for the state to plan responsibly in order to protect communities and invest in healthy forests,” said Sen. Christine Rolfes.  On average over the past half-decade, the cost for fire suppression has risen to $153m.

The proposed legislature seeks dedicated funding by reshaping the current model; increasing the tax on premiums for casualty and property insurance. At the moment, it is 2%, and the proposed model increases that to 2.52%. This increase should funnel an additional $62.5m towards fighting seasonal wildfires.

One of the figures they’re relying on to compel the increase is a study that found that for every dollar spent on forest rehabilitation, or getting to unhealthy forests before fire can and making them more resilient, saves $1.45 in fire fighting costs and actually creates $5.70 in economic activity.

Over the next decade, the DNR plans to convene an interagency forum to guide planning, assess priorities and coordinate actions.



Attribution to WDNR Press Release and DNR website



Tankfest Casino Road Initiative auction Rotary of Port Pardner Everett Metro Plan Gabe Maggio biking wildlife Everett Historic Theatre Everett High School Dagmar's Marina Mount Vernon Arlington Everett Community College Lineup ronald mcdonald house Lowell Startup Lynnwood Team USA Darrington Cascade Bicycle Club Granite Falls Bethany Monte Cristo racing Boating Season Monroe Batman Olympics Harry Potter Everett Police Department Bayside Bikes Funko Everett Marvel community Mayor Cassie Franklin Sky Valley Everett Jets FC Coastal Community Bank IPO Girls on the Run Snohomish Skagit County News soccer Grand Opening Jim Creek skagit Highway 2 Trestle Rotary of Port Gardner polygraph rodeo Everett Naval Base Rucker band JJ Harrison Boating Cassie Franklin Elders Everett Fire Department Everett News Flying Heritage La Conner Marysville Getchell KRKO Marysville Fire Department Snohomish County PUD Beer and wine Lake Stevens Snohomish Nascar Paine Field Snohomish County News USS Ralph Johnson Tim Hunter Legion Bluff WSDOT Jet City Weather Silver Lake, Washington Health Ellensburg rodeo Marysville Maury Eskenazi Pioneer Place Interview Carl Gibson Senior Center ChildStrive Smoke alarms Leonard J. Martin Jacob Hilkin Ana Perdomo Legion DC Navy Broadway USS Sampson Rotary of Arlington Everett PD Recruitment Popcorn in the Park DUI Show Compass Health Building Communities of Hope USO Gym Paine Field Aviation Day Legion Park Lakewood Glacier Peak Students Nathan Senff Arts Archery Marysville Pilchuck country music Habitat for Humanity fire Kayla Lemmon Boeing Paws With Cause WW2 Everett Transit Washington State University Edmonds History Ferndale Memorial Day Everett Library Stanwood Kla Ha Ya Days