State issues 20-year plan to improve forest health in Eastern Washington

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - The state of Washington is launching a 20-year-plan to reduce wildfires and improve the health of 1.25 million acres of forest land in eastern Washington.
               
Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz released the plan Wednesday in Cle Elum.
               
The event was held near the site of last summer's Jolly Mountain Fire. That lightning-caused fire has burned 57.5 square miles a few miles northwest of Cle Elum.
               
Franz says the plan to necessary to break the cycle of destructive wildfires that plague the region east of the Cascade Range each year.
               
The plan involves a combination of forest restoration work, to combat insects and disease, and prescribed burns.
               
It includes strategies to develop products from the wood generated by thinning sick and overgrown forests.

© 2017 Associated Press


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