Human resources

State of Colorado to allocate more resources to fight wildfires in 2022 – CBS Denver

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS 4) – The Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control presented the 2022 Wildfire Preparedness Plan to Governor Jared Polis at Centennial Airport on Friday.

Each year, the state outlines how it plans to protect Coloradons from the dangers of wildfires.

“Of course, wildfire has always been and always will be a part of Colorado’s natural ecosystem,” Polis said.

Last year, the Marshall Fire proved that most, if not all, Colorado residents now live under the threat of a wildfire.

“Half of our state lives in the interface between nature and the urban. And that presents some serious challenges,” Colorado Department of Security Director Stan Hilkey said.

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The problem, Polis said, is exacerbated by climate change making our state hotter and drier.

“We used to have a break during the fire season and we could get together, train and prepare for the next fire season. There’s no more break,” Hilkey said.

This is why this year’s plan is more aggressive in fighting and preventing forest fires.

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“The country, especially the American West, really needs to up our game,” Polis said.

The state will set up a fire command center to coordinate its fights across the state and allocate more resources to firefighting.

“We’re going to get another $15 million to add to the state aviation resources that we already have,” Hilkey said.

(credit: CBS)

They are adding two additional fire helicopters and a second large aerial tracker to their firefighting fleet.

They are also investing in a Fire Hawk helicopter; a Black Hawk helicopter converted into a firefighting machine that can fly high and fast to dump water on fires.

Despite all these changes, they say one thing remains the same: fire prevention is the best way to protect the Coloradans and they need all residents and visitors to be responsible.

“Most of our wildfires and fires in the state of Colorado have human involvement in one way or another. We need people to take responsibility for that,” Hilkey said.