Radio Report: Public hearing Friday on Dent bill to create wildfire prevention partnerships between landowners and firefighters


A Moses Lake lawmaker wants to best protect against wildland fires through public-private partnerships. Nic Scott reports.

 Radio Report Transcript

SCOTT: Representative Tom Dent suggests local farmers and ranchers be allowed to work directly with firefighters on the initial attack when a wildfire breaks out.

DENT: “They’re gonna be first on the fire, and then when a fire department – the DNR or someone else shows up to take over the fire, they can keep these folks there. They know the countryside; they know the micro-weather – any issues that might be out there.”

SCOTT: Dent’s House Bill 1971 would create a pilot project with the formation of a public-private Rangeland Fire Protection Association or RFPA. Dent says it would be an asset to stop a fire before it’s allowed to grow.

DENT: “RFPAs are going be to dealing with more rangeland or some timberland, timber and things of that nature.”

SCOTT: The idea is to build a stronger relationship between private landowners and firefighters to best protect lives, land, and livelihood. The bill gets its first hearing before the House Agriculture and Natural Resource Committee on Friday, January 12th.

Nic Scott, the state Capitol.

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