Washington Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz is asking the state Legislature to nearly double funding to manage and respond to wildfire.
Since 2008, Washington’s Department of Natural Resources has received nearly $21 million on average from the Legislature to pay for fire suppression annually. But every year for the last decade, the DNR has had to go back to the Legislature after the fire season to ask for more than twice the original allotment to cover costs.
Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz says that’s backward.
“It’s time to come together to make upfront investments that keep fires small and will ensure that our skies will remain smoke-free,” she said during a press conference in Tumwater Wednesday.
This year, Franz is requesting $55 million for the next two-year budget cycle. She wants to create 30 full-time, year-round leadership firefighting positions.