State Lands Commissioner Hosts Wildfire Townhall

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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. 
 
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Steve Hair is a 40-year veteran broadcast journalist who comes to NCW LIFE TV after a long career in radio. Steve and his wife Lynette and their three sons moved to the Wenatchee Valley from Central California in 1992. Steve served as News Director for KPQ News where he covered a multitude of stories of importance to North Central Washington, including two of Washington State’s largest wildfires. During his radio career Steve has received many awards from organizations such as the Associated Press, (Sacramento and Seattle Bureaus) The Washington State Farm Bureau, and the California Medical Association. Steve is a sports addict. Time off usually finds him sprawled out on the couch watching the Seahawks, Mariners or anything that prevents him from doing house chores.