Wildfires Target of New Bills Pt 2

Wildfires Target of New Bills Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
I'm Bob Larson. Two Senate bills are aimed at improving the state's response to wildfires ...

RANDI BECKER ... "The fires have been such a huge problem in the last three years total, that we've actually had to drain our reserves, or not quite drain all of our reserves, but use a lot of our reserves to pay for fighting the fires. If we don't have buildings burning, we don't have to pay for them."

Senator Randi Becker has introduced both bills, the first, SB 5198 would require the DNR to educate residents and volunteers on the best firefighting methods, products and technologies available ...

RANDI BECKER ... "What this bill will do will tell the Department of Natural Resources that they need to give the public information on how they might better protect their homes. This is a good bill. This is a bill to let people know how they can actually help themselves and not wait for somebody to have to come in and fight that fire."

Becker says SB 5199 would make it so the expense of training and equipment wasn't prohibitive ...

RANDI BECKER ... "Now, my brother's a logger. He wanted to help and he wanted to participate and he saw so many people there in that training that when they were given the list felt, that they had just had all their time and their effort and their mileage and their expenses wasted because they couldn't actually go fight the fire."

The 2015 wildfire season was the largest in Washington State history, with more than than one million acres burning across the state from June to September.

As many as 3,000 firefighters including 800 Washington National Guard members were deployed to fight the fires.

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