DNR encourages more women to become wildfire firefighters - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

DNR encourages more women to become wildfire firefighters

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WASHINGTON - With fire season in the not-so-distant future, preparations are already being made to make sure this year is as successful as the last.

About 800 fires broke out across the state, but 96 percent were kept under 10 acres. That's thanks to the planning done by the Department of Natural Resources and the hard work of wildfire firefighters everywhere.  

But out of the 550 DNR members, only 14 percent are women... and the Commissioner of Public Lands said that needs to change.

"I'm looking at how we can increase diversity within our team and overall in parts of our agency, but more specifically within wildfire fighting," said Commissioner Hilary Franz.

Franz acknowledges that wildfire fighting can be challenging, but women don't always have to be on the front lines. They can also get involved in other jobs through DNR.

"One of the things we need to be doing more, especially at a young age, is realize that women in leadership are huge assets in making a difference," Franz said.

If you're interested in learning more about volunteering with DNR, you can visit their website at https://www.dnr.wa.gov/WildfireVolunteer.