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Colorado lawmakers debating multiple wildfire bills

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Posted at 8:41 PM, Feb 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-22 09:24:28-05

DENVER — "There's an awful lot of work up here; there's a lot of fire mitigation-related bills.”

State Representative Mark Snyder is among numerous lawmakers seeing the need to address the issue of wildfires in Colorado.

Large, destructive wildfires are far more common in recent years. "Jurisdictions have come to the realization they need to get in front of the wildfire situation,” said Snyder.

There is a list of a half dozen bills moving through the legislature.

On the prevention side, there are bills aimed at awareness, along with incentives for mitigation on both public and private land.

There is a proposal to improve reimbursement for volunteer fire departments that step up to help with wildfires.

New coverage requirements for property insurance policies issued in Colorado are on the table. The bill addresses initial reimbursement of victims who have lost homes as the result of a declared fire disaster.

Snyder is in support of legislation expanding the state’s ability to investigate wildfires.

"It's not lost on me, that to this day we don't have a cause for the Waldo Canyon Fire or Black Forest Fire." He said knowing the cause not only holds people responsible, it can also help with finding better prevention measures.

Another aftermath-related proposal would fund recovery and revegetation research through the Colorado State Forest Service.

"Let’s get to the best scientific knowledge we have." Snyder said better rehabilitation is needed to improve efforts to prevent post-fire dangers like flooding.