Colorado Gov. Polis meets with Rico fire officials about wildfire preparedness – The Durango Herald

Governor Jared’s police met with officials from the Rico Fire Department on Tuesday. (Photo of Honor)

The governor looks at plans for a new fire station and hears about volunteer fire trials.

Colorado Police Chief Jared Police traveled southwest of Colorado on Tuesday on a road trip to Norway, Rico and Silverton.

He discusses affordable housing in Norway, wildlife conservation efforts in Rico and education in Silververton.

Police visited the fire station in Rico to discuss wildfire readiness and departmental needs, a $ 2.7 million project to build a second fire station next to it, and the need to replace outdated trucks and equipment.

“It’s great to hear what’s on the ground and to see how the state is doing,” police said in a telephone interview. JornaL. We are thrilled to be working with them to provide the equipment and capacity they need to meet the high risk of fire.

He said the Colorado Department of Environmental Affairs has supported building plans for the expansion of the fire station. The Fire Department may apply for state funding for construction.

The Rico Fire Department has 22 volunteer firefighters, 13 of whom are trained to fight wild fires, said Chief Todd Jones.

Last summer they were fighting a wildfire in the city.

“The visit was a great opportunity to discuss our expansion project and the challenges we face as firefighters in rural areas,” said Jones.

He said the current fire station does not have space for all trucks and equipment, so the department needs space for training and technology. Old equipment needs to be replaced, Jones said.

Police said most parts of the state that are at risk of wildfires are protected by volunteer fire departments.

“We’re looking at new ways to support them because more wildfires could be a new trend in the coming decades,” police said. “On behalf of the state, we are very grateful to the volunteer firefighters who are doing more than their daily work to protect us all.”

He said the region has provided additional financial support to prevent and control wildfires.

Over the past two years, police and administration have spent nearly $ 145 million in state funds and have pledged millions of dollars to the Federal Fund for Forest Health and Wildlife Protection to protect Colorado communities, critical infrastructure and watersheds from wildfires.

According to a news report, the Colorado Department of Natural Resources has allocated $ 13.3 million as part of the Colorado Strategic Wildlife Action Program for deforestation and landscaping projects.

The 3,664-acre area has been distributed to 17 provinces for fuel reduction, watershed protection and wildfires.

The Mankos Conservation District has been awarded a $ 1 million grant for a reduction project in the Northwest Mankos First Zone.

Police have heard from fire officials about the challenges of attracting and retaining volunteers firefighters who give their employers enough time to cover fire calls.

Police in Colorado say they are investigating programs that offer paid time to state employees who respond to emergencies as volunteers.

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