Inside Opinion

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Tag: department of natural resources


Tragedy reflects potential danger from any kind of fire

This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s print edition.

The horrible news from Arizona that 19 members of an elite firefighting crew were killed by a fast-moving wall of flame should be a cautionary tale.

The lesson is that any fire, however it is caused, can have tragic consequences.

The Yarnell Hill wildfire — the deadliest in 80 years – reportedly was caused by lightning. But it could just as easily have been caused by an unattended campfire, a cigarette flipped out a car window, a criminal firebug or kids playing with fireworks. When potential fuel is dry, all it takes

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Give DNR more tools to deal with derelict vessels

This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.

Many Washingtonians have a love affair with boats. But when the romance wears off, owners often walk out on them. And guess who ends up footing the bill for these derelict vessels?

The taxpayers, of course. Now legislation is moving that would prevent many problems in the first place and, when that fails, make it easier to go after abandoned boats’ owners to assume responsibility.

Derelict vessels can be found in waterways all along Puget Sound, often one bad storm away from sinking. When that happens, they can spill fuel, asbestos and other toxins, posing a hazard to marine life and potentially obstructing commerce.

A couple recent examples: Read more »


Take steps now to decrease future risk of forest fires

This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s print edition.

The Taylor Bridge fire that scorched more than 36 square miles east of Cle Elum and destroyed 61 homes has been contained. But the state isn’t out of the fire danger woods by any stretch.

While that fire likely was caused by a construction crew, it burned out of control due in large part to dry conditions. Those conditions are present in other parts of the state, but some counties are facing another problem on top of that: insect infestation.

The state Department of Natural Resources has identified at least four areas –  more than 1 million acres in Okanogan, Ferry, Klickitat and Yakima counties – where infestation of such bugs as mountain pine beetle and western spruce budworm poses a serious threat to forest health. Trees weakened by insects are more vulnerable to fire than healthy ones.
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