DENVER — — Gov. John Hickenlooper signed an Executive Order that allocates $2 million for rapid response to wildfires because of imminent threat to lives and property due to the impending wildfire season.
“There is general consensus among all wildfire experts that the single most effective strategy in containing wildfires is an immediate and rapid response, as this greatly increases the chances that responders will contain fires while they are small,” the Executive Order says. “Thus, the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control has identified a primary goal of ‘keeping fires small.’ Collaboration between jurisdictions often provides the most effective, if not only way, to respond adequately to wildfires as soon as they are discovered.”
To assist the State in accomplishing the goal of keeping fires small, the General Assembly in 2013 created a “Resource Mobilization Fund.” This fund, in part, provides a mechanism for governmental agencies to be reimbursed for costs accrued when they respond outside of their boundaries to aid neighboring jurisdictions.
Mutual assistance from nearby districts is an important element of any immediate response and this fund helps ensure that agencies responding outside of their jurisdictions will be reimbursed for eligible expenses. A rapid and aggressive response by all necessary safety personnel is the best way to keep fires small, save taxpayer money, and ultimately reduce the risk of loss of life and property.
“The threat and danger fires pose even in a ‘normal’ fire season is staggering, and it is likely the frequency and scope of wildfires will continue to increase due to changing weather patterns, more severe storms, drought, beetle kill, and increased development,” the order says.
The order directs the State Treasurer to transfer $2 million from the Disaster Emergency Fund to the Resource Mobilization Fund.
The full Executive Order is attached to this press release.