Commissioner of Public Lands Makes Outrageous COVID Plea
The story was led off by the following headline Monday, August 10:
"Commissioner Franz Pleads with Residents: ‘Please Help Protect Firefighters by Doing Your Part to Reduce COVID-19 Spread’"
Now, these are not the firemen and women who are stationed around our cities and towns, the ones we often see in the grocery stores, or responding to an EMS or fire call.
No, this is in reference to DNR (Department of Natural Resources) crews who battle brush and wild and forest fires. Crews that nobody comes in contact with anywhere near a fire scene. Unless you're news media, you're not even allowed within miles of such a fire.
Commissioner Hilary Franz issued this statement as part of the news release Monday:
“Our wildland firefighters are our first line of defense when communities are facing a wildfire, Unfortunately, despite all possible precautions, firefighters do congregate and work in close quarters when responding to wildfires. That means the stakes are high: a widespread outbreak among our firefighters would impede our ability to keep Washingtonians safe."
This was in response to a report that a firefighter working the Anglin Fire near Tonasket tested positive for COVID over the weekend, despite being asymptomatic (not showing any signs). Of the 14 other firefighters who were part of the unit, all are still asymptomatic. No word on their test results.
In fact this worker was only the THIRD DNR firefighter to test positive for the virus, out of literally hundreds and hundreds of such crews in our state. There have been crews already used on dozens of fires so far, without any issues.
Franz went on to put in a serious push for everyone else to wear masks and practice social distancing etc. to keep these workers from contracting COVID.
Not mocking her base information, wearing masks is a state mandate now. But one cannot help but notice this whole message about DNR workers came across very panicked sounding--especially the headline.