Commissioner Franz Highlights the Fewest Acres Burned in a Decade this Wildfire Season
October 7, 2022
As fire season nears an end, Commissioner Franz and fire personnel provide update at DNR Fire Cache
On Friday, Oct. 7, Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz, who leads the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR), hosted an end-of-season wildfire briefing at DNR’s Fire Cache in Tumwater. Franz celebrated the fire season’s successes and partnerships around the state that contributed to a more moderate fire season.
This year to date, just over 140,300 acres have burned around Washington state, the fewest number of acres burned in a decade. The years 2020 and 2021 were the second and third-worst fire seasons in the state’s history.
“A combination of DNR equipment, aerial firefighting assets, personnel, partnerships with other agencies, as well as a wet and rainy spring that delayed the start of this year’s fire season contributed to our success,” Commissioner Franz said.
Franz highlighted the landmark legislation House Bill 1168, which was passed unanimously last year by the Washington State Legislature, as a key investment in preparing, preventing, and fighting wildfire. The funding provided DNR with new crews and modernized equipment, including air resources that helped keep more than 94 percent of fires to 10 acres or less.
“House Bill 1168 provided DNR with new crews, increased fire suppression overhead and equipment, and a long-term commitment to making our state more resilient while simultaneously upgrading our effectiveness at preventing and suppressing wildland fire.”
While the moderate season has been a success, Franz reminded Washingtonians to stay vigilant and urged year-round use of fire prevention best practices, as large fires continue to burn in the state.
“Bolt Creek has reminded us that wildfire doesn’t see boundaries,” Franz said “As climate change and other factors have worsened the length and impact of fire seasons, turning them instead into fire years, wildfire is no longer an eastside issue – it’s a statewide one.”
Franz was joined by DNR Wildfire Division Manager Russ Lane and State Forester George Geissler.
A stream of the briefing is available on Commissioner Franz’s Facebook page. Additionally, photos and video for media use will be available in this folder.