OLYMPIA – Fire season has begun, and Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz is hosting three Town Hall outreach events to make sure communities are prepared and engaged. The events are scheduled in Yakima (June 26), Chelan (June 27), and Spokane (June 28).
Commissioner Franz leads the Department of Natural Resources – the state’s largest wildfire fighting force and the agency responsible for preventing and fighting wildfires on 13 million acres of private, state and tribal-owned forestlands.
The public is invited to attend and speak with Commissioner Franz, be briefed on wildland fire preparations, learn how they can prepare for wildfire season, and learn about forest health issues and opportunities that will reduce wildfire risk in the future.
“Communities are essential to our success in fighting and reducing wildfires, and we want to engage them early and often in what we’re doing,” said Franz. “In the face of wildfire seasons that are getting more difficult, we need to partner with each other and our neighbors if we are to overcome this great threat. I strongly urge the public to come out and learn about how we are preparing – and what they can do to help – as we go into another fire season together.”
Join the conversations from 6-7:30 pm:
Tuesday, June 26, 2018 – Yakima Area Arboretum
1401 Arboretum Dr. Yakima, WA 98901
Wednesday, June 27, 2018 – Chelan Senior Center
534 E Trow Ave, Chelan, WA 98816
Thursday, June 28, 2018 – The Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture
2316 W 1st Ave, Spokane, WA 99201
Attending with Franz will be her new Wildfire Deputy and Washington State Forester George Geissler, who joined the Department of Natural Resources earlier this month. Geisler has day-to-day oversight of the agency’s forest heath and wildfire responsibilities, which includes the state’s largest wildfire fighting force, with more than 800 permanent DNR employees available and another 550 seasonal firefighters hired for the summer season.
These three events follow previous town halls held earlier in Cle Elum, Wenatchee and Winthrop.