Goldmark talks wildfires - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Goldmark talks wildfires

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KENNEWICK, Wash. - Wildfires, sparked by lightning, continued to rage Friday night across Washington State. Washington's Commissioner for Public Lands Peter Goldmark asked Governor Chris Gregoire to declare a state of emergency for Eastern Washington.

More homes have been evacuated and the Wenatchee Complex Fire is only 10% contained at this time. Now, the National Guard is stepping in to help battle the blaze. 

In the midst of this extraordinary fire season, Goldmark said he was aware something like this might happen. That's why last November he declared a forest health hazard warning. He hopes it will help prevent future fires from gaining such strength.

"We're using state resources to go in and start thinning and restoring the health of our forests while taking out the burnable materials, creating jobs and hoping to make the stands much more resilient in the face of insect and fire," said Goldmark.

The work is expected to begin this fall. Right now they're assembling crews and starting the bidding process to begin restoration work in Yakima, Klickitat, Okanogan and Ferry Counties.