It’s great to see the editors at the Olympian calling for more state money to fight and prevent wildfires:
The federal government’s firefighting budget for 2014 is likely to be depleted by the end of August. The state is in even worse shape: It has already spent $91 million fighting wildfires this year, which means the money in the budget year that was supposed to last until next July 1 is already spoken for, according to state Department of Natural Resources officials.
As the West heats up and fire season lengthens, we must redouble our efforts in the area of wildlife [sic] prevention. In the current two-year state budget, Gov. Jay Inslee asked for $20 million to fund fuel reduction projects in the woods. Lawmakers allocated $4 million. When forest health is neglected, dead branches and limbs accumulate and become fuel for the next fire. Trees killed by insect infestation add to the fuel load.
Now if only the editorial boards at the Olympian and other newspapers would advocate for raising the tax revenue necessary to pay for things like fighting and preventing wildfires. Just sayin’.