On the heels of the state’s worst wildfire season, Washington’s public-lands chief said Wednesday he is asking the Legislature for more money to beef up the state’s firefighting crews.
Public Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark wants more than $24 million next year to add firefighters, equipment and training next year. The money would help local fire districts, modernize fire communications, add aircraft and train teams of local, state and contracted firefighters to work together, he said.
“We will not let the Evergreen State become the Wildfire State,” Goldmark said Wednesday as he announced his budget request in Spokane. He was joined by tribal members and local fire officials.
Goldmark said that $6 million of the proposed funding would be used for reducing fuel loads in fire-prone forests. The money could be used to finance thinning and prescribed burns on DNR Lands, he said.