[1/27/19] Hawkins Touts Wildfire Plan
Last Week, the state Department of Natural Resources released its 10-year wildfire protection plan as part of the DNR’s $55 million budget request to the Legislature to improve the state’s firefighting abilities in the face of climate change and more residents moving into fire-prone areas. 12th District State Senator Brad Hawkins, who was with Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz when the plan was released, said the wildfire plan goes hand-in-hand with the 20-year forest protection plan DNR released last year:
The plan would create a wildland fire-training academy that different agencies could use, in additions to increased resources:
Hawkins said the plan should be a top priority for lawmakers this session, adding that the timing is right:
A recent Forest Service study shows that more than 2-point-2 million homes now lie in the potential path of wildfires. DNR says fire suppression costs make up about 9 percent of the total costs of wildfires; but much higher are the costs of infrastructure, lost business, habitat, and timber, as well as agriculture resources, disaster recovery, and health impacts.