Hickenlooper Touts Bills To Combat Colo. Wildfires

High Park Fire on June 18, 2012, one of several wildfires in recent years.
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Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper expressed support for legislation that's been introduced to combat wildfires, including tax incentives for mitigation and funding to buy better equipment for firefighters.

But the Democratic governor indicated he's not ready to support more aggressive suggestions from Republicans who want a state-owned aerial firefighting fleet, or a building codes and fees proposed by a wildfire task force that Hickenlooper created.

Hickenlooper said Thursday he believes incentives for homeowners to conduct mitigation on their properties will work better than building mandates, or fees for living in high-risk fire areas. He says a state-owned fleet could be too costly.

In addition to tax credits, lawmakers are proposing a death benefit to wildland firefighters and changes to the state's prescribed burning program.