|Passed by the House February 10, 2010|
Speaker of the House of Representatives
Passed by the Senate February 27, 2010
President of the Senate
I, Barbara Baker, Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives of the State of Washington, do hereby certify that the attached is ENGROSSED HOUSE BILL 2667 as passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate on the dates hereon set forth.
Governor of the State of Washington
Secretary of State
State of Washington
|State of Washington||61st Legislature||2010 Regular Session|
Read first time 01/12/10. Referred to Committee on Agriculture & Natural Resources.
AN ACT Relating to communications during a forest fire response; and amending RCW 76.04.015 and 43.43.963.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
Sec. 1 RCW 76.04.015 and 1993 c 196 s 3 are each amended to read
(1) The department may, at its discretion, appoint trained personnel possessing the necessary qualifications to carry out the duties and supporting functions of the department and may determine their respective salaries.
(2) The department shall have direct charge of and supervision of all matters pertaining to the forest fire service of the state.
(3) The department shall:
(a) Enforce all laws within this chapter;
(b) Be empowered to take charge of and direct the work of suppressing forest fires;
(c)(i) Investigate the origin and cause of all forest fires to determine whether either a criminal act or negligence by any person, firm, or corporation caused the starting, spreading, or existence of the fire. In conducting investigations, the department shall work cooperatively, to the extent possible, with utilities, property owners, and other interested parties to identify and preserve evidence. Except as provided otherwise in this subsection, the department in conducting investigations is authorized, without court order, to take possession or control of relevant evidence found in plain view and belonging to any person, firm, or corporation. To the extent possible, the department shall notify the person, firm, or corporation of its intent to take possession or control of the evidence. The person, firm, or corporation shall be afforded reasonable opportunity to view the evidence and, before the department takes possession or control of the evidence, also shall be afforded reasonable opportunity to examine, document, and photograph it. If the person, firm, or corporation objects in writing to the department's taking possession or control of the evidence, the department must either return the evidence within seven days after the day on which the department is provided with the written objections or obtain a court order authorizing the continued possession or control.
(ii) Absent a court order authorizing otherwise, the department may not take possession or control of evidence over the objection of the owner of the evidence if((
: (i))) the evidence is used by the owner in
conducting a business or in providing an electric utility service(( ;))
and (( (ii))) the department's taking possession or control of the
evidence would substantially and materially interfere with the
operation of the business or provision of electric utility service.
(iii) Absent a court order authorizing otherwise, the department may not take possession or control of evidence over the objection of an electric utility when the evidence is not owned by the utility but has caused damage to property owned by the utility. However, this ((
paragraph)) subsection (3)(c)(iii) does not apply if the department
has notified the utility of its intent to take possession or control of
the evidence and provided the utility with reasonable time to examine,
document, and photograph the evidence.
(iv) Only personnel qualified to work on electrical equipment may take possession or control of evidence owned or controlled by an electric utility;
(d) Furnish notices or information to the public calling attention to forest fire dangers and the penalties for violation of this chapter;
(e) Be familiar with all timbered and cut-over areas of the state; and
(f) Regulate and control the official actions of its employees, the wardens, and the rangers.
(4) The department may:
(a) Authorize all needful and proper expenditures for forest protection;
(b) Adopt rules consistent with this section for the prevention, control, and suppression of forest fires as it considers necessary including but not limited to: Fire equipment and materials; use of personnel; and fire prevention standards and operating conditions including a provision for reducing these conditions where justified by local factors such as location and weather;
(c) Remove at will the commission of any ranger or suspend the authority of any warden;
(d) Inquire into:
(i) The extent, kind, value, and condition of all timber lands within the state;
(ii) The extent to which timber lands are being destroyed by fire and the damage thereon.
(5) Any rules adopted under this section for the suppression of forest fires must include a mechanism by which a local fire mobilization radio frequency, consistent with RCW 43.43.963, is identified and made available during the initial response to any forest fire that crosses jurisdictional lines so that all responders have access to communications during the response. Different initial response frequencies may be identified and used as appropriate in different geographic response areas. If the fire radio communication needs escalate beyond the capability of the identified local radio frequency, the use of other available designated interoperability radio frequencies may be used.
(6) When the department considers it to be in the best interest of the state, it may cooperate with any agency of another state, the United States or any agency thereof, the Dominion of Canada or any agency or province thereof, and any county, town, corporation, individual, or Indian tribe within the state of Washington in forest firefighting and patrol.
Sec. 2 RCW 43.43.963 and 1997 c 49 s 11 are each amended to read
(1) Regions within the state are initially established as follows but may be adjusted as necessary by the state fire marshal:
(1))) (a) Northwest region - Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, San
Juan, and Island counties;
(2))) (b) Northeast region - Okanogan, Ferry, Stevens, Pend
Oreille, Spokane, and Lincoln counties;
(3))) (c) Olympic region - Clallam and Jefferson counties;
(4))) (d) South Puget Sound region - Kitsap, Mason, King, and
(5))) (e) Southeast region - Chelan, Douglas, Kittitas, Grant,
Adams, Whitman, Yakima, Klickitat, Benton, Franklin, Walla Walla,
Columbia, Garfield, and Asotin counties;
(6))) (f) Central region - Grays Harbor, Thurston, Pacific, and
Lewis counties; and
(7))) (g) Southwest region - Wahkiakum, Cowlitz, Clark, and
(2)(a) There is created a regional fire defense board within each ((
of these)) region(( s there is created a regional fire defense board))
created in subsection (1) of this section.
(b) The regional fire defense boards shall consist of two members from each county in the region. One member from each county shall be appointed by the county fire chiefs' association or, in the event there is no such county association, by the county's legislative authority. Each county's office of emergency management or, in the event there is no such office, the county's legislative authority shall select the second representative to the regional board. The department of natural resources fire control chief shall appoint a representative from each department of natural resources region to serve as a member of the appropriate regional fire defense board.
(c) Members of each regional board will select a chairperson and secretary as officers. Members serving on the regional boards do so in a voluntary capacity and are not eligible for reimbursement for meeting-related expenses from the state.
(3)(a) Regional defense boards shall develop regional fire service plans that include provisions for organized fire agencies to respond across municipal, county, or regional boundaries.
(b) Each regional plan shall be consistent with the incident command system, the Washington state fire services mobilization plan, the requirements of this section, and regional response plans already adopted and in use in the state. The regional boards shall work with the relevant local government entities to facilitate development of intergovernmental agreements if any such agreements are required to implement a regional fire service plan.
(c) Each regional fire service plan must include a mechanism by which a local fire mobilization radio frequency, consistent with RCW 76.04.015, is identified and made available during the initial response to any forest fire that crosses jurisdictional lines so that all responders have access to communications during the response. Different initial response frequencies may be identified and used as appropriate in different geographic response areas. If the fire radio communication needs escalate beyond the capability of the identified local radio frequency, the use of other available designated interoperability radio frequencies may be used.
(d) Each regional fire service plan shall be approved by the fire protection policy board before implementation.