The state is taking an all-hands-on-deck approach to the upcoming wildfire season.
- Well, last week's precipitation has done little for the state's drought levels, and those levels have the state gearing up for what could be a busier-than-normal fire season. Tori Mason with more on how the state is preparing for an all-hands-on-deck approach to firefighting after last summer's historic burns.
MIKE MORGAN: The number of people at risk of wildfires in Colorado will continue to increase.
TORI MASON: If you're lucky, it's an itchy throat and watery eyes. For others, it's losing everything you own. We're all impacted by wildfires, and we're all able to prevent them.
MIKE MORGAN: While not all wildfires are caused by humans, the majority of wildfires are caused by humans.
TORI MASON: Increased recreational activity, combined with a dry summer, fueled one of the worst fire seasons in history. And those seasons are getting longer.
MIKE MORGAN: We're having fire years, not fire seasons anymore.
TORI MASON: Director Mike Morgan with the Division of Fire Prevention and Control says this summer, the state will be more prepared to respond to scenes like this.
MIKE MORGAN: The governor's proposed budget included a substantial investment in both wildfire mitigation and suppression. It takes both.
TORI MASON: Infrared sensors will help locate fires before they spread. The state will also purchase a helicopter to help crews on the ground.
MIKE MORGAN: Not only will the Firehawk be an additional resource for aggressive and early initial attack, but it can also be used on longer-duration wildfires.
TORI MASON: Under a new agreement, the state will also have access to more aviation resources through a federal partnership. Based on the forecasted conditions, summer fires will happen sooner.
MIKE MORGAN: Do our part, be careful, be cautious this fire season.
TORI MASON: In addition to this more proactive approach to fighting fires, the state is also focusing on operational demands. The governor says the crews fighting these fires will have the tools necessary to be as effective and as safe as possible. In Denver, I'm Tori Mason, covering Colorado first.