Eastern Washington Department of Natural Resources public lands reopened
Washington Land Commissioner Hilary Franz on Wednesday reopened to the public all of the Department of Natural Resources’ public lands east of the waterfalls.
“I’m so excited,” Franz said. “I wish there was a ribbon cut where we could actually open up millions of acres of crown land in Washington state, especially right before the hunting season, mountain bikers, hikers and all our greats. spaces both men and women can adopt them and I’m super excited.
The grounds were closed due to the extreme danger of fire.
Despite his elation, Franz said public lands were still dry and reminded the public that a burning ban remains in place.
She says there were 1,750 fires on state land this summer, covering 650,000 acres. She says aggressive firefighting tactics meant that many of these fires were controlled without having to call on additional resources:
“98% of the DNR fires were caught in an initial attack this fire season,” she said. The fires were stopped within a ten-acre radius.
Franz credits the increased use of planes to help bring these fires under control quickly. She says a finance bill passed by the legislature last spring will mean more firefighting resources as well as increased attention to making forests more resilient.