SHB 2561

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

As Reported by Senate Committee On:

Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks, February 22, 2018

Title: An act relating to temporary duties for the wildland fire advisory committee.

Brief Description: Concerning temporary duties for the wildland fire advisory committee.

Sponsors: House Committee on Agriculture & Natural Resources (originally sponsored by Representatives Dent, Blake, Dye, Doglio, Johnson, Peterson and Eslick).

Brief History: Passed House: 2/13/18, 98-0.

Committee Activity: Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks: 2/20/18, 2/22/18 [DPA-WM].

Brief Summary of Amended Bill

  • Directs the Wildland Fire Advisory Committee (Advisory Committee) to review and make recommendations on specified issues relating to unprotected lands and community-based fire prevention programs.


Majority Report: Do pass as amended and be referred to Committee on Ways & Means.

Signed by Senators Van De Wege, Chair; McCoy, Vice Chair; Warnick, Ranking Member; Honeyford and Nelson.

Staff: Curt Gavigan (786-7437)

Background: The Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee was created through legislation in 2015. The Advisory Committee advises the Commissioner of Public Lands (Commissioner) on all matters related to wildland firefighting in the state. This includes developing strategies to enhance the safe and effective use of private and public wildland firefighting resources. The Commissioner has discretion over membership, but at minimum must invite at least the following people to participate:

Firefighting Services on Unprotected Lands. Under current law, fire protection agencies are not required to provide firefighting services to unprotected land, which is defined as improved property located outside the jurisdiction of a fire protection service agency. Property owners of unprotected lands are encouraged to form or annex into a fire protection jurisdiction or enter into a contract for firefighting services. If this does not occur and firefighting services are provided to unprotected land, the property owners must reimburse the agency initiating firefighting services on unprotected land for certain costs incurred.

Summary of Amended Bill: The Commissioner must direct the Advisory Committee to review, analyze, and make recommendations to include:

DNR must provide the Legislature with a report on the Advisory Committee's efforts and recommendations by November 15, 2019, and a status update by December 31, 2018.


Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Creates Committee/Commission/Task Force that includes Legislative members: No.

Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony on Substitute House Bill: The committee recommended a different version of the bill than what was heard. PRO: There are great concerns about areas that are currently unprotected from fire. The Advisory Committee seems to be a good place to work on this issue, as well as to look at how to promote the Firewise program in more areas. This Advisory Committee has real value and can be useful tool for the Legislature in the future.

Persons Testifying: PRO: Representative Tom Dent, Prime Sponsor; Jason Callahan, Washington Forest Protection Association; Tom Bugert, The Nature Conservancy.

Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: No one.