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News

Exclusive aerial firefighting support at the ready in Douglas County

Douglas County Commissioners ensure wildfire readiness with 2023 contracts

Posted on April 11, 2023 2023News and EventsPublic Safety

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April 25 Update: The Board of County Commissioners approved a fifth call-when-needed air support contract for $100,000 for additional air support through Dec. 31. The County’s total investment in aerial firefighting contracts for 2023 is $1.6 million.

Your home is your sanctuary and likely one of the most significant investments you’ll ever make. That’s why Douglas County continues to make historic investments in the firefighting tools needed to protect your life and property from wildfires.

At the April 11 Business Meeting, The Board of Douglas County Commissioners committed more than $1.5 million to the County’s 2023 wildland fire aerial firefighting contracts, ensuring air support in Douglas County is available at a moment’s notice in the event of a wildfire. This is the largest investment in aerial support in the County’s history and among the largest by local government in Colorado.

“We know the biggest natural hazard threat to Douglas County is a wildfire,” said Commissioner Abe Laydon, Board Chair and Chair of the Douglas County Wildfire Initiative. “We’re investing in these resources and others so we’re ready to respond hard, heavy and fast to a wildfire, keeping families and businesses safe.”

A contract with Trans Aero LTD, for $1,128,750 will provide 153 days of exclusive use to Douglas County. A Type 2 helicopter capable of delivering 300 gallons of water to the front lines of a wildfire will be standing ready to respond from June 1 through Oct. 31, 2023.

“We are thrilled to have this firefighting helicopter on standby, as it will greatly enhance our ability to respond quickly and effectively to wildfires, ultimately helping to keep our communities safe,” said Douglas County Sheriff Darren Weekly.

Additionally, four call-when-needed air support contracts were approved for use from April 12 to Dec. 31, 2023, each for up to $100,000, providing additional firefighting resources.

Wildfires can strike in any season, in any neighborhood, and move extremely fast. Aerial support is an essential tool in suppressing a fire’s growth and assisting firefighters on the ground as they work to save lives and property.

You can also do your part, as a family, to prepare for wildfires by doing mitigation work around your property and creating a defensible space between vegetation and your home. Resources available in Douglas County to help families save money and prepare include a Wildfire Mitigation Cost-Share program and a free-use slash-mulch site.

Please also sign up every phone line in your household for CodeRED notifications, ensuring you receive emergency notifications.

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