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i_wmrc_2017a_2017-08-28t09:07:50z3 Hearing Summary

Date: 08/28/2017

Location: SCR 357

Final

Division of Fire Prevention and Control



WILDFIRE MATTERS REVIEW COMMITTEE


Votes: View--> Action Taken:
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12:58 PM -- Division of Fire Prevention and Control



Mike Morgan, Director of Fire Prevention and Control (DFPC), provided a presentation on the DFPC and wildfires in Colorado (Attachment C). He discussed the qualifying emergency fire fund events in the past fifty years and the steady rise in the number of qualifying fires. In 2016, there were 5,572 fires in Colorado, including 4,753 that were attributed to human-caused fires and 819 lighting-caused. A total of 122,517 acres were burned in 2016.



170828 AttachC.pdf170828 AttachC.pdf



01:08 PM



Director Morgan discussed the costs of suppression, including state, federal, and local funding. He also spoke on the length of the fires, including the Beaver Creek fire that started on June 19, 2016 and was extinguished by snow fall on November 30, 2016. Director Morgan discussed the programs in the DFPC and the resources available.



01:18 PM



Director Morgan answered questions regarding the costs and acres burned in the Beaver Creek fire. He also answered questions regarding the impact of beetle kill trees on wildfire risks.



Director Morgan also answered questions regarding controlled burns in winter.



Senator Baumgardner discussed the role of fire mitigation and potential risks in rural areas.



01:28 PM



Director Lester was called back to the table. He answered questions from the committee regarding risk reduction in federal forests.



01:30 PM --
Chief Vaughn Jones discussed the fire management operations. He provided an overview of equipment, services, and operations for fire suppression.



01:40 PM



Chief Jones provided an overview of the prescribed fire program and planning.



01:50 PM



Chief Jones answered questions from the committee regarding the costs for loaning equipment to other states.



01:51 PM --
Melissa Lineberger, Director of the Center of Excellence, provided an overview of the Center of Excellence, including fire prediction, communication in areas with no cell service, unmanned aerial systems, and data collection projects.



Director Morgan said that DFPC is working to adapt to an expanded fire season and continue to improve coordination among state, local, and federal agencies.



02:10 PM -- Bob Lackner, Office of Legislative Legal Services, provided the committee with an overview of the bill request process.



02:15 PM -- Damion Pechota, Legislative Council Staff, provided overview of the Utah wildfire funding program (Attachment D) and a Colorado legislation overview memorandum (Attachment E).



170828 AttachD.pdf170828 AttachD.pdf170828 AttachE.pdf170828 AttachE.pdf



02:17 PM -- Tom Dermody, Joint Budget Committee, discussed last years JBC briefing document related to wildfire (Attachment F). He answered questions regarding why it is challenging to isolate mitigation costs.



170828 AttachF.pdf170828 AttachF.pdf



02:33 PM -- The committee members discussed and requested a preliminary fiscal analysis of continuing the committee.



02:39 PM



The committee adjourned.








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