House Passes McLachlan’s Wildland Fire Airspace Bill

Colorado homes and communities on front lines of destructive wildfires

(Apr. 30) – The House gave preliminary approval to a bill sponsored by Rep. Barbara McLachlan to help combat wildfires and protect public safety.

“Wildfire season is fast approaching,” said Rep. McLachlan, D-Durango. “This will help ensure airspace is clear above wildfires and give our firefighters the tools they need to keep our homes, communities and firefighters safe.”

SB19-020 directs the Center of Excellence (COE) to study and implement a system to patrol the airspace above a wildland fire.

The COE was created under SB14-164 in the Division of Fire Prevention and Control in the Dept. of Public Safety. Its mission is to protect Colordoans, land, and resources in Colorado by researching, testing and evaluating existing and new technologie that support sustainable effective and efficient aerial fighting techniques.

Detection of drones is currently limited to visual observation which poses challenges during a wildland fire.
Earlier this month, the House gave unanimous approval to HB19-1006, Rep. Barbara McLachlan’s bipartisan bill to mitigate the impacts of wildfires on Colorado’s mountain communities.

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