During the 2015 Okanogan Complex Fire, state Rep. Joel Kretz saw where a fire line was put in Aeneas Valley.
“There was a cooperative effort done down there between the feds, the state and private landowners where they had — I don’t know how many miles long it was — a corridor,” said Kretz, R-Wauconda. “They’d gone in and actually managed, thinned the timber out, taken a lot of the ladder fuel out.
“... So often when we get these big ones going, we just concede everything to them and try to stop them at a highway or river or something like that. My interest is putting some of these lines in the forest and having some natural fuel breaks where we have a chance of stopping them.”
That’s why he sponsored House Bill 1784, which Gov. Jay Inslee recently signed and will go into effect July 28. The state Legislature unanimously passed the bill.
The new law will require the state Department of Natural Resources to create wildfire prevention corridors every year.