A bill proposed by State Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz aimed at preventing and adapting to devastating wildfires has been advanced by state legislators. House Bill 1578, also known as the “Cascading Impacts of Wildfire” bill, passed the House on Monday and is now headed to the Senate for consideration.
The bill proposes a number of measures to tackle wildfires, including increased funding for the Wildfire Ready Neighbors program, which will now expand from eastern to western Washington. Supporters of the bill say that the west side of the state is likely to become a new battlefield as the changing climate dries out the landscape.
Speaking about the bill, Commissioner Franz and legislation sponsor Rep. Joel Kretz, R-7th District, emphasized the importance of taking proactive steps to avoid and adapt to wildfires. They noted that the impacts of these fires can be devastating, affecting everything from air quality to public health and safety.
With the bill now advancing to the Senate, lawmakers will have the opportunity to weigh in on these proposed measures and potentially make important strides towards protecting the state from the dangers of wildfire.