Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz: 95% of DNR fires kept under 10 acres

Friday, October 27, 2023

Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz 

From Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz 

I’ve heard people on the westside say, “Wow, we got lucky this fire season.”

In fact, the numbers tell a different story. Washington saw 1,880 ignitions — the second-most in state history. But only 165,365 acres burned — well below our 10-year average of 472,812 acres. For comparison, in 2015 we had around 2,000 fires and one million acres burned.

So, no, it wasn’t luck that left us with blue skies most of the year. 

It was leadership — from local fire districts, from within my agency, from investments we’ve made in aviation, personnel, and ground resources, from our move from 8 Vietnam rotors to having exclusive control of 40 air resources that we pre-positioned throughout our state, so we could be on the fire in 15-30 minutes.

Our ability to keep 95% of DNR fires under 10 acres is a testament to our firefighters and our emphasis on initial attack – getting on fires early and often with planes and helicopters – so that we keep fires small. 

Kodiak plane at DNR facility
Photo courtesy Dept of Natural Resources

And our investments in new technologies like our Kodiak and partnership with Pano AI and T-Mobile which are giving us the ability to spot these fires more quickly.

It is a testament to the positive impacts of our forest health work, having restored already 500,000 acres in 6 years, making Washington’s forests more able to withstand wildfire’s flames.

And it’s a testament to our community resiliency work, and the Wildfire Ready Neighbors program we launched helping homeowners take steps to both harden their property to wildfire and help firefighters get around fires faster and more effectively.

It’s a testament to our All Hands, All Lands, All Together approach.


Post a Comment

We encourage the thoughtful sharing of information and ideas. We expect comments to be civil and respectful, with no personal attacks or offensive language. We reserve the right to delete any comment.
Facebook: Shoreline Area News
Twitter: @ShorelineArea
Daily Email edition (don't forget to respond to the email)

  © Blogger template The Professional Template II by 2009

Back to TOP