OLYMPIA – Washington will develop a detailed plan on how to save a million acres of timberland from catastrophic wildfires by 2033.
A bill signed Thursday by Gov. Jay Inslee is a response to wildfires that burned 380,000 acres in 2014 and more than 1 million acres in 2015. It calls for the Department of Natural Resources to develop a “forest health assessment and treatment framework” that might use mechanical thinning or prescribed burns, identifying 200,000 acres of fire-prone lands and communities every two years.
As much land as available funds can manage will be treated in the next two years, with regular progress reports to the Legislature and the Office of Financial Management.