On the heels of one of the worst wildfire season in Colorado’s history, House makes bold investment
DENVER– The House today passed Representatives Snyder and Froelich’s bill to invest millions into wildfire prevention and mitigation efforts. The bill passed by a vote of 59-4.
“Last year’s fire season ravaged our forests, threatened homes, and displaced wildlife like no other year before,” said Rep. Marc Snyder, D-Manitou Springs, sponsor of SB21-258. “The realities of our changing climate mean that we can expect upcoming fire seasons to be just as dangerous, and with this bill we’re making sure that Colorado will be prepared. We are committed to preventing and mitigating fires before they get out of hand, and the funds we approved today will allow us to do just that.”
“Every dollar spent on wildfire mitigation can mean another home left intact, another habitat protected, or another life saved,” said Rep. Meg Froelich, D-Englewood, sponsor of SB21-258. “As we work to tackle the underlying issue of climate change, which has made our wildfires even deadlier threats, we have to make sure our state is poised to take on the critical threat of wildfires. A year after the worst fire season in our state’s history, we’re taking bold action to invest in mitigation and keep Colorado prepared.”
SB21-258 creates the Wildfire Mitigation Capacity Development Fund in the Department of Natural Resources to support wildfire mitigation, expand workforce capacity through investments in Colorado Youth Corps Association and the Department of Corrections SWIFT program, coordinate cross-boundary wildfire mitigation efforts, facilitate engagement with other property owners, and connect priority wildfire mitigation projects with available resources. Additionally, the bill creates the Hazard Mitigation Fund to assist local jurisdictions in obtaining the matching funds required for certain federal hazard mitigation grants. Finally, the bill dedicates almost $30 million across various wildfire mitigation and response funds to help the state bolster wildfire prevention, detection, and response.