Bill to prevent and fight wildfires approved by Legislature

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A bill that sets aside $125 million to prevent and fight wildfires in Washington sailed through the state House and now goes to Gov. Jay Inslee for his signature. The House voted unanimously Thursday to concur with Senate amendments made to the bipartisan legislation, which was promoted by Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz. The bill is sponsored by state Rep. Larry Springer, D-Kirkland, and state Rep. Joel Kretz, R-Wauconda. It would provide $125 million every two years to boost wildfire response, accelerate forest restoration and support community resilience. While supporters originally sought a dedicated funding source for House Bill 1168, the work will be paid for out of the state general fund for its first two years.