Lawmakers address a decade of destructive fires in Colorado Springs

There is currently only one official wildland fire investigator for Colorado.
Published: Apr. 30, 2023 at 6:57 PM MDT|Updated: May. 1, 2023 at 6:05 AM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Lawmakers in Colorado are hoping to address wildland fire needs throughout the state.

Colorado Springs has seen some of the most destructive wildfires in the last decade alone, according to the Division of Fire Prevention and Control.

To help prevent future disasters, one senate bill aimed to provide more funding to the Department of Public Safety and resources to fire crews. The bill passed through the House Saturday.

Both the Waldo Canyon and the Black Forest Fire left a lasting impact both on the land and residents. To this day, the Waldo Canyon Fire is still under investigation, according to the chief of the Colorado Springs Fire Department. This is what the lawmakers hope to change.

Senate Bill 23-013 hopes to make resources more readily available for fire investigations and the prioritization of funding for wildland fires. The top concern, though, is the enhancement of public safety.

A senator and prime sponsor for the bill told 11 News that there is currently only one official wildland fire investigator for Colorado.

“And that’s not enough,” said Sen. Lisa Cutter (D). “I mean, we are experiencing more and more wildfires definitely. And, of course, there are all the other fires that keep our safety professionals busy. And so this will allow the agency to have two investigators per quadrant of the state.”

The $2.8 million bill will go before the Senate again to approve any changes before going to the governor’s desk to be signed.