H-3866.1  _______________________________________________





State of Washington      57th Legislature     2002 Regular Session


By Representatives Sump, Armstrong, Morell, Doumit and Rockefeller


Read first time 01/30/2002.  Referred to Committee on Natural Resources.

Studying ways to improve fire fighting.

    WHEREAS, The legislature finds that the state has committed a large amount of resources to fight forest fires in the state; and

    WHEREAS, The legislature recognizes that there are numerous ways to improve how resources are mobilized and used to fight forest fires; and

    WHEREAS, Efficiencies can be identified for forest fires in which the state mobilization plan is activated, and for forest fires that remain local in nature; and

    WHEREAS, A large number of private contractors who live close to the site of a fire and know the terrain, and who have specialized fire-fighting equipment, are frequently not called upon to assist in fighting the forest fire; and

    WHEREAS, The state mobilization plan only allows public agencies to be mobilized under the plan; and

    WHEREAS, The lack of an agreement with Oregon precludes private contractors from Washington from working to fight fires in Oregon; and

    WHEREAS, Improvements can be made in training people throughout the system; and

    WHEREAS, A large number of people with extensive experience in fighting forest fires are eager to assist the state in updating its practices;

    NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, By the House of Representatives of the state of Washington, the Senate concurring, That the House of Representatives natural resources committee and the Senate natural resources, parks and shorelines committee jointly review the current procedures used to mobilize resources to fight forest fires under the state mobilization plan and through the department of natural resources to develop recommendations to ensure that the closest people to a fire are called first, to allow private contractors to be mobilized under the state mobilization plan, and to identify other efficiencies; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the committees review recent studies that made recommendations regarding ways to improve ways to fight forest fires in the state, and that the committees shall consult with representatives of private contractors, fire districts, municipal fire departments, the department of natural resources, the state fire marshal, appropriate federal agencies, and other interested groups in developing the recommendations; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the staffing for the committees be provided by the House of Representatives office of program research and Senate committee services; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the committees report their findings and recommendations to the legislature by January 1, 2003.


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