Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz announced Tuesday House Bill 1168, which would create a dedicated funding source for wildfire response, forest restoration and community resilience strategies.

According to a press release, Franz is asking the legislature to create the dedicated account and fund it with $125 million each biennium. On average, fighting wildfires each year costs nearly $150 million.

The state's trajectory for wildfire severity has worsened in recent years, climbing from 293,000 acres burned in 2016 to 438,000 in 2018 to over 812,000 last year.

The DNR added that Leavenworth is one of three towns in Washington State at even greater wildfire risk than Paradise, California, where dozens lost their lives in a wildfire in 2018.

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