Washington’s public lands chief tries new tactic in push for $125 million to fight, prevent fires

  • Source: Yakima Herald-Republic
  • Published: 01/12/2021 12:00 AM

For at least the last three years, as Washington has seen some of the worst wildfires in recent memory, state Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz has pushed legislation to try to get a permanent funding source to fight and prevent fires. She's failed each time. The Legislature balked at a tax on property and casualty insurance and it balked at a surcharge on insurance premiums. This year, Franz is back with a comprehensive plan to prevent, protect from and fight wildfires: Funding source TBA. As the Legislature began what will be the first remote session in its history, Franz gazed out her Seattle window at the rain beating down. "We've forgotten what happened just a few months before," she said. "For years we have relied on luck and hope instead of investing in what's needed to protect our communities and firefighters. Hope will not prevent wildfires, and luck doesn’t put them out."


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