State agency says more funds needed to fight wildfires

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The Washington State Department of Natural Resources says if they don’t get additional funding for training and equipment, the 2017 wildfire season will start with a deficit.

KOMO reports that’s why the agency asked lawmakers for $13 million to train 2,000 firefighters, and to repair and replace equipment for the fire season.

But, so far Gov. Jay Inslee, the Senate and the House have not funded the request.

Hilary Franz, the new Public Lands Commissioner who leads the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, said the agency is listening to the needs of local fire chiefs and lawmakers.

Franz said she understands lawmakers are facing budget challenges but if their funding request isn’t met it will be a struggle as the fire season gets underway.