New Regulations for Property Owners During Wildfires - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

New Regulations for Property Owners During Wildfires

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STARBUCK, Wash.- After controversy over property access during last summer's wildfires, the legislature is trying to increase access for property owners.

If the Governor signs on, local police would have to come up with a model on how people can get on their land during wildfires.

Last summer's Columbia Complex fire just outside Dayton spurred the talk.

Hundreds of landowners were evacuated and told if they tried to get to their homes to help prevent them from fire, they'd be arrested.

Starbuck Mayor Don Jackson learned the troubles firsthand when he was cuffed and hauled away trying to save his property.

"We don't figure we're in danger, we've done this all of our lives, fought these fires, and no one else was fighting them.  There were a lot of people who's place burnt," Jackson said. 

If the Governor signs it, property owners would join a registry that would allow them to help fight fires on their own property.

Part of the problem last summer were new restrictions on fire access after the death of firefighters during the 30-Mile Fire.