A bill aimed at balancing interests between wind turbine farms and aerial firefighting efforts is moving ahead in Olympia.
Rep. Stephanie Barnard, R-Pasco, says committee passage of House Bill 2117, co-sponsored by Rep. Matt Boehnke, R-Kennewick, is a huge milestone.
“We are projected to have more wildfires than ever in the coming years and the place where you put wind turbines is the place where it’s windy and you get fire,” Barnard told The Center Square. “Those go on the top of hills or the place where you have good wind coming through, but when you then have a fire, that can get out of control fast. I mean fire and wind, within minutes that fire is right down to populated areas.”
Barnard went on to say, “We have to make sure that when we’re siting these projects, we take firefighting into consideration … These obstacles create a no-fly zone for certain aircraft.”
The Center Square previously reported the state has about a dozen large-scale wind farms, mostly located in central and southeast Washington. The sheer height of wind turbines is a potential danger to aircraft taking part in fighting fires in the area.
Read more on this story at the Everett Post