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February 15, 2024

Bill to Keep Coloradans Safe During Wildfire Evacuations Passes House

DENVER, CO –  The House today passed legislation to protect Coloradans from wildfires. HB24-1033, sponsored by Representatives Marc Snyder and Elizabeth Velasco, would encourage locally created emergency evacuation plans for Coloradans with pets during wildfires or other emergencies. HB24-1033 passed by a vote of 48 to 12.

“As wildfires become more destructive and frequent, emergency evacuation plans are important to keep everyone safe,” said Rep. Marc Snyder, D-Manitou Springs. “This bill encourages local communities to create emergency plans for Coloradans with pets so that they have evacuation options in the wake of disaster. From expanded mitigation efforts to community education, the safety of our neighborhoods depends on emergency planning.” 

“Rural and mountain communities like mine face frequent wildfire risks,” said Rep. Elizabeth Velasco, D-Glenwood Springs. “To better protect our community members during a wildfire, this legislation would help develop emergency plans for Coloradans with pets, including transportation and other logistics. Our furry friends and pets are valued members of our families, and this legislation helps communities create a plan to keep everyone safe during wildfire evacuations.”

HB24-1033 would encourage local emergency management agencies to address the needs of Coloradans with animals during wildfires or other emergencies. This would include provisions for the evacuation, shelter, and transport of these individuals and their pets, including service animals. Beginning January 2025, local governments would also be strongly encouraged to make information for animal emergency preparedness available. 

This bill was created during the interim by the Wildfire Matters Review Committee and is designed to keep communities and Coloradans safer in the wake of destructive wildfires. 

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