Firefighting agencies around Washington state met in Tumwater to try and come up with ways to react faster, and in closer coordination, when battling the state’s growing wildfire problem.
“We know we don’t have the full equipment, the capacity to be able to fight the fires we’re seeing today,” said Hilary Franz, Washington’s lands commissioner heading the state’s largest firefighting agency, the Department of Natural Resources. “We need all of our local fire chiefs and fire districts,” she added, along with Federal, tribal firefighting agencies. While agencies are all trying to get on fires when they’re just an acre or two, often additional agencies are not brought in until they’re really needed, and by then, things are much worse.
“There’s no one agency that’s going to be successful in a vacuum,” Aaron Schmidt, DNR’s Fire Operations Manager, said.