In his 76th year of reminding us, “Only YOU can prevent wildfires,” it’s time for Smokey the Bear to update the instructions behind his warning.
Smokey tells us to safely extinguish campfires and properly burn backyard leaves and branches to help prevent forest fires. But today, because electrical power lines have been igniting many of the deadliest wildfires across the western United States — including a fire that burned more than 100 homes in Malden on Sept. 7 — our responsibility is greater.
Washington businesses and citizens need to step up their role in preventing wildfires by partnering with their local utilities to proactively defend against such disasters.
Gregg Edeson is PA Consulting’s utility reliability and resiliency lead
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