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The Washington State House of Representatives approved legislation today to help communities threatened by, and recovering from, homelessness due to wildfires.
House Bill 2010, sponsored by Rep. Jacquelin Maycumber, R-Republic, allows the state Department of Natural Resources to allocate provided funds for radio communication equipment, education and outreach efforts, technical assistance, fuel mitigation, and other residential wildfire risk prevention measures.
“This bill allows local jurisdictions to address the very specific needs of local communities,” said Maycumber. “There are many reasons communities deal with homelessness. For us in Northeast Washington the devastating wildfires of the past few years rendered friends and families homeless for the first time in their lives. This is a small but important step to getting the appropriate resources to the appropriate communities at the appropriate time.”
Maycumber’s bill applies to the four northeast counties in Washington state and would allow targeted funding toward areas with higher wildfire risk, a higher percentage of low-income residents, and whose fire protection service providers have a shortage of reliable equipment and resources.
The bill, Maycumber’s first, passed the House unanimously and is now in the state Senate for further consideration.
The 105-day 2017 legislative session is scheduled to end April 23.