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News

Douglas County Prepares for Wildfire Season

Commissioners approve five contracts for aerial support and adopt the County’s Fire Operating Plan.

Posted on April 8, 2021 2021Public Safety

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Your Board of Douglas County Commissioners recently demonstrated the level to which they are willing to invest in community and public safety.

The Board committed to nearly $870,000 for the County’s 2021 wildland fire response and suppression, as well as the adoption of the County’s Fire Operating Plan.

The Commissioners approved five aerial support contracts during their Feb. 23 Business Meeting, all apparatus included as part of the response solution during a wildland fire.

Specifically, four call-when-needed air support contracts were approved for use from April 1 to Dec. 31, 2021, each for up to $100,000:  Heliqwest International, Inc.; Aero S.E.A.T. Inc.; Rampart Helicopter Services, LLC; and 10 Tanker Air Carrier, LLC.

A fifth contract was approved with Trans Aero Helicopter for $467,400, providing Douglas County with two 45-day Exclusive Use (EU) periods, as well as options for call-when-needed air support and the ability to extend or create additional EU periods.

“With experts warning about severe drought conditions this year, the county remains committed to proactive wildfire mitigation. Redundancy in our air support builds on our ability, in partnership with others, to execute our ‘hard, heavy, fast’ response to wildfires to protect those we represent, as well as their property,” said Board of County Commissioners Vice Chair Abe Laydon on behalf of the full Board. “Having aerial support contracts in place for the last 11 years has greatly enabled this objective.”

At their March 23 Business Meeting, the Board of Douglas County Commissioners adopted the Fire Operating Plan which sets forth roles and responsibilities to implement cooperative wildfire protection – among the County, the State, and the U.S. Forest Service – for all lands within Douglas County during a wildfire response.

To view the aerial contracts in their entirety click here to access the Feb. 23 Business Meeting agenda.

Are you doing your part to prepare for wildfire season? Wildfire mitigation and risk reduction require everyone in our community to participate. Learn more about what you can do to prepare for wildfire and reduce your risk.

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