September 5, 2012
(Denver) – Rep. Claire Levy (D-Boulder) took the initiative today to reduce the threat of wildfire in Colorado, advancing a package of proposals to be considered by the Lower North Fork Wildfire Commission.
Of eight bill concepts approved for drafting today by the panel, three were Rep. Levy’s:
· Doubling, to $1.2 million, the statutory cap for all victims when a state action harms many people. (The Lower North Fork Fire, which destroyed two dozen homes in Jefferson County in March, started when the Colorado Forest Service lost control of a prescribed burn.)
· Providing incentives to counties to adopt the wildland-urban interface code, an internationally recognized standard for such things as using fire-resistant building materials and reducing fuel load within 100 feet of homes in fire-prone areas.
· Providing grants to high-risk communities for fire mitigation projects, similar to SB09-18, which did not pass the legislature. “These are measures that will reduce the risk for all Coloradans who live in wildfire country,” Rep. Levy said. If approved by the commission, the draft bills will be introduced in the 2013 General Assembly.
Separately from her work on the Lower North Fork Wildfire Commission, Rep. Levy plans to reintroduce a bill she carried last year to hold insurance companies accountable for fully and promptly paying claims to people who lose property to wildfires.
Other bill concepts approved for drafting today were by Sen. Ellen Roberts (R-Durango), the commission chairwoman; Sen. Jeanne Nicholson (D-Black Hawk); and Department of Public Safety Director Jim Davis, the only non-legislator on the commission.