Washington’s state mobilization plan allows the use of state resources to suppress a wildfire when a blaze goes beyond the capacities of the local fire services. HB 2228, introduced by Rep. Larry Springer (D-45), would allow preemptive use of those resources if a wildfire is expected to require them.
The proposal was supported at a Jan. 15 public hearing of the House Housing, Community Development & Veterans Committee by local government advocates as well as fire organizations.
“We’re very proud of the mobilization program we have here in the state of Washington,” McLane Black Lake Fire Department Fire Chief Steve North told the committee. “But we believe there’s a major weakness in the plan. By having to wait until an incident has grown to a sufficient size and scope to exceed all local mutual aid resources, it’s often too late to prevent a large, costly fire that puts our communities, our citizens and our firefighters at risk in the summertime.”