76.04.620  <<  76.04.630 >>   76.04.650

Landowner contingency forest fire suppression accountExpendituresAssessments.

There is created a landowner contingency forest fire suppression account in the state treasury. Moneys in the account may be spent only as provided in this section. Disbursements from the account shall be on authorization of the commissioner of public lands or the commissioner's designee. The account is subject to the allotment procedure provided under chapter 43.88 RCW, but no appropriation is required for disbursements.
The department may expend from this account the amounts as may be available and as it considers appropriate for the payment of emergency fire costs resulting from a participating landowner fire. The department may, when moneys are available from the landowner contingency forest fire suppression account, expend moneys for summarily abating, isolating, or reducing an extreme fire hazard under RCW 76.04.660. All moneys recovered as a result of the department's actions, from the owner or person responsible, under RCW 76.04.660 shall be deposited in the landowner contingency forest fire suppression account.
When a determination is made that the fire was started by other than a landowner operation, moneys expended from this account in the suppression of such fire shall be recovered from the general fund appropriations as may be available for emergency fire suppression costs. The department shall deposit in the landowner contingency forest fire suppression account moneys paid out of the account which are later recovered, less reasonable costs of recovery.
This account shall be established and renewed by an annual special forest fire suppression account assessment paid by participating landowners at a rate to be established by the department. In establishing assessments, the department shall seek to establish and thereafter reestablish a balance in the account of three million dollars. The department may establish a flat fee assessment of no more than seven dollars and fifty cents for participating landowners owning parcels of fifty acres or less. For participating landowners owning parcels larger than fifty acres, the department may charge the flat fee assessment plus a per acre assessment for every acre over fifty acres. The per acre assessment established by the department may not exceed fifteen cents per acre per year. The assessments may differ to equitably distribute the assessment based on emergency fire suppression cost experience necessitated by landowner operations. Amounts assessed for this account shall be a lien upon the forestlands with respect to which the assessment is made and may be collected as directed by the department in the same manner as forest protection assessments. Payment of emergency costs from this account shall in no way restrict the right of the department to recover costs pursuant to RCW 76.04.495 or other laws.
When the department determines that a forest fire was started in the course of or as a result of a landowner operation, the determination shall be final, unless, within ninety days of the notification, or an interested party serves a request for a hearing before the department. The hearing shall constitute an adjudicative proceeding under chapter 34.05 RCW, the administrative procedure act, and an appeal shall be in accordance with RCW 34.05.510 through 34.05.598.


Effective date2010 1st sp.s. c 26; 2010 1st sp.s. c 7: See note following RCW 43.03.027.
Effective date1993 c 36: See note following RCW 76.04.610.
Effective datesSeverability1991 sp.s. c 13: See notes following RCW 18.08.240.
Effective date1989 c 175: See note following RCW 34.05.010.
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