Udall Pushes For More Preemptive Action As Wildfire Concerns Grow

FRISCO, Colo. (CBS4) – Summit County leaders met with Sen. Mark Udall in Frisco on Sunday to discuss the upcoming wildfire season.

After a destructive season of fires last year Udall wants to stop history from repeating itself.

“The fires that we have had have drawn national attention,” said Udall.

Summit County commissioners said a snowy winter may mean a shorter wildfire season, but nothing is certain.

“With this much snow we are going to have a lot of moisture come springtime. The fine fuels will be growing rapidly,” said Summit County commissioner Dan Gibbs.

Commissioners are already concerned about the current state of the county.

“In Summit County we have 155,000 acres of dead trees right now,” said Gibbs.

Udall is a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and according to him more preemptive work is crucial.

“If you spend those monies on the front end, it’s a much more cost effective way of preventing natural disasters,” said Udall.

He has introduced legislation to allow more funds for wildfire prevention in addition to what Coloradans are already doing.

“We cut excessive fuel loads, we do prescribed burns and engage homeowners,” said Udall.

Udall said that we might not be able to stop wildfires from happening, but what we can do is stop them from destroying communities.

“One of the real threats to our way of life is catastrophic wildfires,” said Udall.

He also has asked the White House to make wildfire prevention a priority.

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