Representative Tom Dent says his legislation creating Rangeland Fire Protection Associations continues to move forward in Olympia. The Moses Lake Republican said hearings on H.B. 1188 were held Wednesday morning. Dent said while a few details still need to be worked out he says most firefighters across the state support the legislation.
“The Department of Natural Resources folks we kind of went through some of the issues that they had. They’re on board to support it, we’ll probably have to make a couple of changes as we go. And then we’ll just see what happens.”
Similar RFPAs have been used successful in Oregon and now Idaho. Dent added Rangeland Fire Protection Associations are a great example how a public/private partnership can work.
“When we do an RFPA, we’ll set them up for some training, for some communication equipment, and things a long those lines, and it could also set them up for receiving surplus equipment. And they’re going to be in area where we don’t have fire protection. Where a fire district could to 20, 30, 40 miles away, they’re going to be right there and be on it.”
H.B. 1188 authorizes DNR and fire protection service agencies to enter into agreements with RFPA’s for the detection, prevention or suppression of wildfires.
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