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Bob Larson Wildfire Prevention Bill Pt 1
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Washington State Farm Bureau Report
Date: March 18, 2019

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I’m Bob Larson. A bill is making progress that would help prevent wildfires from spreading and better protect firefighters.

House Bill 1784 passed unanimously Wednesday and its sponsor, 7th District Representative Joel Kretz of Wauconda says it’s about forest management …

KRETZ … “The idea behind this bill is that we can create defensible corridors where firefighters can safely fight a fire. What we’ve been doing, generally, is if one really gets going, you can’t fight it in heavy timber. We concede the whole forest until it gets to a highway or river where we can try and stop it.”

Kretz says the notion came to him after talking with an expert …

KRETZ … “The idea that I had with this bill came from an incident commander in Okanogan County in 2015, a man named Todd Pachota who was a Type One Commander, highly qualified firefighter.”

That conversation, he says was a real eye-opener …

KRETZ … “And there had been a cooperative program to put a thinning, a long corridor through the area there between federal, state, and private landowners. They had a defensible space and he explained it to me that this is the only place I can put a firefighter safely in this whole area and if you take one thing away from this fire please take this, and I’m fulfilling that request now.”

Kretz says these long, narrow corridors placed strategically in our forests would give firefighters advantages before a wildfire even begins.

Tune in tomorrow for more on Kretz’ forest management bill.

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