Those of you who've called North Central Washington home over the last few years remember all too well the effects wildfire smoke have had on the community.

A new bill co-sponsored by District 7 Representative Joel Kretz is a multi-step approach on how the state should address the health and safety impacts.

He says the bill is getting a hard look due to the shift in winds that sent smoke in our region to the Seattle area.

"The fact that the smoke finally traveled west of the Cascades the last few years and they actually noticed in Seattle. They've been resistant to dealing with forest health and fires for many years. When the smoke hits Seattle all of a sudden, they have some interest." Kretz said.

Kret'z bill received its first reading in the Washington State House yesterday. It includes providing updated wildfire information to forecasting and health agencies and to the public through the Washington smoke blog or through another online information source.

The bill also urges the Department of Natural Resources to establish a smoke monitoring and predictive services team to assess wildland fire smoke risks and impacts. Activities may include deploying air quality monitoring equipment and conducting computer simulation modeling.

"This is more of an attempt to look at the realities more on the west side of what they're going to be dealing with. I'm concerned, in the right conditions, they could have worse fire seasons than we have over here with the amount of fuel they got over there." Kretz said.

Kretz says he looks forward to hearing what you have to say when the bill reaches the public hearing stage.

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