Lands chief again proposes dedicated funds to fight wildfire

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — After yet another year of catastrophic wildfires in Washington state, Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz is once again proposing that the state create a dedicated fund to prevent and fight the fires.A similar attempt to use a surtax on home insurance premiums to raise money to fight wildfires failed in the state Legislature last year. This time Franz is proposing to work with legislators to identify the funding source.The 2020 fire season in Washington saw more than 800,000 acres burned in more than 1,600 fires. There were 298 homes destroyed, A 1-year-old boy died in Okanogan County and his parents were badly burned when flames overran them.