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Legislation being promoted by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources could expand the Wildfire Ready Neighbors program into Western Washington. House Bill1578 and Senate 5611 are the two bills being proposed that outlines the agencies community preparation plan for wildfire smoke risks and impacts, plans to reduce wildfire-induced health issues, expand wildfire resiliency efforts statewide and manage environmental after effects of wildfires like landslides and debris flow. Commissioner of Public Lands, Hilary Franz piloted the launch of the program back in 2021 that helped craft a personal wildfire prevention plan for homeowners and promote wildfire resiliency. But with changing climate conditions and an increased threat for wildfire throughout the state, Franz sees this as the right time to grow the program, citing the Bolt Creek Fire in Skykomish and the Goat Rocks Fire in Packwood as examples of threats pressing in on Western Washington. DNR is asking for $12.8 million in funding from the state biennial budget to pilot three permanent programs in Pierce, Thurston and Mason counties with the addition of five high-risk counties to the program.

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