Comissioner of Public lands talks about wildfire damage, cost

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on September 19, 2012 at 7:47 AM

Peter Goldmark, Washington's Commissioner of Public Lands, stopped by the KING 5 newsroom to talk about the damage from wildfires this year, the effect on the state budget, and whether climate change is playing a role.

The state budgeted $10 million for fire suppression, but the Taylor Bridge Fire alone led to over $11 million in direct suppression costs.

"The state's budget will be impacted by this, there is no doubt, but the cost of the fires is proportionate to the ownership, the underlying ownership where the fires are burning," Goldmark said.

Goldmark went on to explain that costs will be distributed between the state and other agencies based on who owned the land where the fires burned.

Goldmark oversees firefighting efforts around the state.

A lightning storm on September 8 led to the start of over 200 fires, an extremely unusual event.

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