DNR transfers surplus fire engines to Eastern Washington fire districts
SPOKANE, Wash. – The Department of Natural Resources presented four Eastern Washington fire districts with surplus wildfire engines on Monday.
It is part of the agency’s effort to strengthen fire response in wildfire-prone rural areas.
The engines were given to Pend Oreille Fire District 5, Spokane Fire District 2, Stevens Fire District 10 and Stevens Fire District 5 in an effort to help keep their communities safe.
“Local fire districts are an invaluable part of this great state’s efforts to fight wildfire,” Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz said. “They’re often the first lines of defense, able to reach ignitions early and keep them small. That then benefits DNR by reducing response times to wildfires, thereby reducing the potential for larger, more severe wildfires. It is truly a win-win situation.”
The DNR says rapid response time is growing ever more critical as Washington’s fire seasons become more severe.
Last year, firefighters battled 1,872 fires across the state. That marked the second-most wildfires in record state history.
More than 1.5 million acres have burned over the past two seasons. However, DNR was able to keep 94 percent of those fires to 10 acres or less. DNR attributes that to the agency’s fire district partners.
The new fire engines were made available through a DNR program started in 2017. That year, the state legislature authorized DNR to transfer ownership of surplus fire engines to rural fire districts at no cost to them.
This year, the agency will transfer 10 of its older engines to fire districts across Washington. DNR hopes to more than double that number next fire season.
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