Colorado governor's aide advises on firefighting

DENVER (AP) - The Colorado governor's top wildfire fighting aide says the state can improve its ability to plan attacks on small blazes before they become big threats by buying two planes with sensing, processing and communications technology.

The Denver Post reported Saturday on the recommendations of Paul L. Cooke, who heads a firefighting division created after deadly 2012 wildfires.

Cooke adds that to improve its ability to respond quickly by to fires in remote, rugged areas, the state needs four helicopters, to double the number of single-engine tankers at its disposal to four and to secure the exclusive use of two large tankers to augment tankers the federal government can supply. Cooke recommends contracting rather than buying most craft, but the envisioned costs are higher than lawmakers have been considering.