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Firefighting Plane Proposal Clears Colorado Hurdle

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An air tanker demonstration at Centennial Airport(credit: CBS)

An air tanker demonstration at Centennial Airport(credit: CBS)

DENVER (AP) – A $21 million plan for Colorado to buy an aerial firefighting fleet designed to spot and attack wildfires faster has won initial approval in the Senate.

The bill is a response to historic back-to-back wildfire seasons.

The measure calls for the state to buy two spotter planes to detect fires within an hour after the first sighting of smoke. It would also contract four helicopters and four single-engine tankers to begin fire suppression within an hour of a request from fire chiefs.

Senators gave the measure unanimous preliminary approval. One more formal vote is required before the measure goes to the House.

Colorado’s budget for next year already accounts for the aerial firefighting fleet.

LINK: Senate Bill 164

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Wildfire Resources

- Visit CBSDenver.com’s Wildfire Resources section.

- Read recent Wildfire stories.

Wildfire Photo Galleries

- See images from the most destructive wildfires (Black Forest, Waldo Canyon, High Park and Fourmile) and largest wildfire (Hayman) in Colorado history.

More Firefighting Fleet Stories

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