The bill to create Colorado’s own aerial firefighting fleet is getting bipartisan support and Gov. John Hickenlooper is on board. The funding has been approved and now more details are coming out about what the fleet would look like.
Colorado lawmakers agreed Wednesday to budget $21 million for an aerial firefighting fleet designed to spot and attack wildfires faster, a response to historic back-to-back wildfire seasons.
Some state lawmakers believe Colorado should not have to wait for federal help when it comes to putting out state wildfires, and now they are working on a plan to bring an aerial firefighting fleet to the state.
Large air tankers fighting wildfires along Colorado’s Front Range will be based at the Fort Collins-Loveland Airport this year.
Colorado lawmakers are already thinking about the next fire season and are now asking California for help to boost the state’s fleet if it’s needed.
A Colorado lawmaker will travel to California on Monday to ask for help with air support while fighting wildfires.
Colorado is one of the most active states for wildfires in the U.S. for the beginning of July. That has prompted Gov. John Hickenlooper to take action.
When the Lime Gulch Fire flared up on Wednesday afternoon it seemed like there were helicopters doing bucket drops on the fire and C-130s releasing slurry almost immediately.
Colorado lawmakers passed several bills this year to prepare for future fire seasons.
Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado called on the U.S. Forest Service on Friday to make certain that a contract dispute doesn’t ground large air tankers used to fight wildfires.