Colorado Lawmakers Consider First Wildfire Mitigation Bill – The Durango Herald

Colorado lawmakers will consider a bill to increase wildfire mitigation efforts just a month since a devastating blaze ripped through suburbs north of Denver

DENVER (AP) — Colorado lawmakers will consider a bill to increase wildfire mitigation efforts, just a month since a devastating blaze ripped through suburbs north of Denver, destroying more than 1,000 homes and businesses and killing at least one person.

The bill, which is due to be heard Tuesday afternoon by the Senate Local Government Committee, creates a task force of federal, state and local fire and public safety officials to increase wildfire education. and develop annual awareness campaigns on wildfire awareness and mitigation for those in the wild. – urban interface.

The Legislative Assembly is considering several other fire-related measures that would increase funding for local volunteer fire departments, give tax credits to people who do their own fire mitigation, and one that would require new fire insurance and accident coverage.

The December fire caused nearly $513 million in damage, and state lawmakers have vowed to use this legislative session to address issues raised in the aftermath of the fire, such as the shortage of affordable housing. , insurance coverage and urban fire mitigation plans.

Experts say similar occurrences will become more frequent as climate change warms the planet and suburbs expand in fire-prone areas. Ninety percent of Boulder County is in severe or extreme drought, and it hasn’t seen significant rainfall since mid-summer.

The blaze spanned 9.4 square miles (24 square kilometers) and ranks as the most destructive in state history in terms of homes and other structures destroyed and damaged.

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Nieberg is a member of the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative body. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places reporters in local newsrooms to report on underreported issues.

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