Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I'm currently in Olympia, where the Legislature expects to approve the final state budgets today and tomorrow. While I am here representing you, my thoughts are back in my hometown of Wenatchee where fires are still burning. My thoughts and prayers go out to the first responders courageously battling the fires as well as the families who have sadly lost their homes.
I have been in contact with city, county, and state officials today and have a meeting this afternoon with Governor Inslee. The Washington State Military Department has shared the information below, which can be reassuring in a time like this:
- Fire mobilization of state resources was requested and approved by the governor.
- Federal Fire Management Assistance Grant was requested and approved last night. This will help reimburse firefighting costs from the beginning of the incident.
- The state Emergency Operations Center is fully activated.
- The Washington State Patrol has provided teams to assist in evacuations with traffic control and the Fire Marshall's office is overseeing the fire mobilization of state resources.
- State Emergency Management has coordinated local Emergency Management reinforcing personnel to assist local emergency manager in Wenatchee with five personnel that are in transit to Wenatchee.
- Two Blackhawks from the Washington National Guard will be flying fire missions in support of Department of Natural Resources firefighting.
- One UH-72 Lakota is deploying from the National Guard to do aviation reconnaissance. This aircraft is based at Fairchild Air Force Base but is pre-positioned at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
- Washington state personnel are activated with equipment to refuel aircraft.
- The state Washington Joint Operations is activated with personnel to support the response.
- Department of Natural Resources has a Type 2 Incident Management Team on site and performing firefighting operations.
- The governor's Eastern Washington Regional Representative Melissa Carpenter will be on site for extended days.
- Department of Ecology personnel have been activated for any hazardous materials work.
These situations remind us all of the resilience of our communities as well as the generosity and support shown during times of need. The Wenatchee World provided a great list of ways you can help if you're not affected and resources if you may be affected by the fires. Please stay safe.
While here in Olympia finalizing our state budgets, my thoughts and prayers will continue for my beloved hometown of Wenatchee.
122G Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7832 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000