Firefighting Air Fleet

On Monday (May 12, 2014), the governor signed a bill creating the state’s first firefighting air fleet. The bill (SB 14-164) approves appropriations to purchase two high-technology fire-detecting aircraft and also contract with up to four firefighting helicopters and four single-engine air tankers. The fleet will aid in early detection of wildfires, and improve the response time in suppressing fires.

The Colorado Firefighting Air Corps website has a lot of information on the bill, and conversations/reports leading up to it’s passage.

Also, in March the Division of Fire Prevention and Control released a “report to the Governor and General Assembly on strategies to enhance the state’s aerial firefighting capabilities” entitled: Special Report: Colorado Firefighting Air Corps. This report gives a summary of current wildfire conditions in Colorado, and has a detailed breakdown of the recommendations presented to the legislature.

Samantha Hager
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