Video: Rep. Mary Dye describes her wildfire aviation suppression bill, House Bill 1498

Since 2016, Rep. Mary Dye, R-Pomeroy, has worked to provide a state funding account to help reimburse small, local fire departments who use aviation resources for an initial attack on brush, timber and grass fires. The concept is to put out those fires immediately while they are small, before they grow into massive and destructive wildfires.

State protocol, however, is that local departments contact the Department of Natural Resources for approval and mobilization before aviation suppression efforts get underway. Unfortunately, in the time it takes for approval, these fires grow often out of control, costing millions of dollars to put out. Dye’s legislation, House Bill 1498, would provide a fund for these local fire departments to not have to wait for state approval for aviation suppression, to save taxpayer money by getting on the fire right away when it is small, and to get reimbursed by the state. The bill, however, has continued to run into roadblocks — at least until this year, where it seems there is movement to advance the legislation.

Dye describes the bill and these efforts in this video.


Washington State House Republican Communications