Sen. King proposes adding more options for firefighting air support

By: Amy Lipman Email
By: Amy Lipman Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Senator Steve King is looking beyond Colorado to aid wildfire fighting efforts.

"So we don't have another Waldo Canyon, so we don't have another Black Forest and, god forbid, it's in one of our watersheds," Senator King said.

The Colorado State Senate District 7 seat holder is proposing asking California to allow their air tankers to help when California water is at risk.

Along with protecting watersheds, air support can help contain fires from above, easing efforts on the ground for firefighters putting out the fire if it's available for use.

"It slows the pace of the fire and then the ground crews have the access to go in behind those aerial resources and suppress the fire more directly," said Ryan Jordan, formerly a wildland firefighter.

Senator King said he's hoping to come up with a joint Senate-House resolution in the coming weeks, so he can take it with him when he goes to Sacramento next month to talk about the idea with California state leaders.

"We are one lightning strike, one careless match strike, one terrorist match strike away from a catastrophic fire that could change our watersheds for generations to come," Senator King said.

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