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HB24-1155

Management of Certain Public Safety Emergencies

Concerning modifications to the statutes that guide the management of certain public safety emergencies.
Session:
2024 Regular Session
Subjects:
Local Government
State Government
Bill Summary

The act defines "reimbursement" for purposes of reimbursing the expenditure of money from state emergency reserve as a repayment of expenditures for which the state previously designated emergency money and specifies that federal cost share provided through a federal emergency management agency public assistant grant is not reimbursement.

To specify the authority of all fire response agencies, rather than just a fire protection district, to transfer the management of a wildland fire to the county sheriff (sheriff) when the fire exceeds the capability of the fire response agency to manage, the act authorizes a fire department, as defined in law, to transfer the management of a wildland fire and repeals references to transfers by a fire protection district. The act also specifies that the sheriff may develop a wildfire preparedness plan for the unincorporated area of a county as required by law, in cooperation with any fire department, rather than only with a fire district, with jurisdiction over the unincorporated area.

The act repeals references to the community wildfire protection plan (CWPP) in the statutes that address the response to and management of wildland fires, as the CWPP addresses the identification and reduction of hazards and is not focused on the response to or management of wildland fires. Instead, the act specifies that the sheriff and the fire chief of a fire protection district (fire chief) are subject to any relevant plans or agreements in the response to and management of wildland fires.

To allow the division of fire prevention and control in the department of public safety (division) and the sheriff to determine the most appropriation management strategy when the management of a wildland fire has been transferred from the sheriff to the division, the act repeals the requirement that the division and the sheriff use the unified command management strategy when the management of a wildland fire has been transferred to the division. The act also repeals the requirement that the unified command management strategy be used in a hazardous substance incident to allow responding agencies to determine the most appropriate response to and management of such an incident.

The act repeals the requirement that a sheriff appoint a local incident management team to provide command control to manage a wildland fire and instead requires the sheriff to appoint an incident commander for a wildland fire. In addition, the act specifies that the agency that has jurisdiction over any wildland fire in the state is required to manage the fire using the incident command system as defined in law.

The act repeals references to the Colorado state emergency operation plan (SEOP) in the statute designating the division as the lead state agency for wildland fire response and suppression, as the SEOP can only be activated by an executive order and does not apply to the majority of wildland fire operations. In addition the act repeals inaccurate references to the state forest service in that statute.

APPROVED by Governor April 4, 2024

EFFECTIVE August 7, 2024
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)

Status

Introduced
Passed
Became Law

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Bill Text

The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details