DENVER (AP) – The Colorado Senate gave initial approval to establishing a state firefighting fleet to supplement a fleet managed by the federal government, even though lawmakers have not allocated money for it.
The Senate advanced the proposal Wednesday on a preliminary voice vote. One more vote is needed to send it to the House.
Lawmakers say the bill was prompted by last year’s devastating fire season. Two people died in the Waldo Canyon Fire, which burned 346 homes and 28 square miles in Colorado Springs, and one died in the High Park Fire, which destroyed 136 square miles and 259 homes west of Fort Collins. The Lower North Fork Fire left three people dead.
Under the bill, a new division would have the power to buy or lease firefighting aircraft.
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