Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Governor John Hickenlooper announced new initiatives yesterday to try and make Colorado better prepared for wildfires. State officials say they’re also planning for a drought this summer and a potentially bad fire season. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

Meanwhile, Colorado Democratic Senator Mark Udall is urging the US Forest Service to accelerate their acquisition of eight new firefighting air tankers ahead of this year’s wildfire season. Udall says the new planes have been tied up in red tape.

But Jennifer Jones, a spokeswoman for the Forest Service, says despite the contract delays for the new planes, there are already enough air tankers on hand for the upcoming wildfire season.

“We are expecting to have up to 25 large air tankers available for fire suppression nationwide. That would include up to 9 large air tankers on exclusive use contracts, up to 8 CV 580’s through agreements with the Canadian interagency forest fire center, and 8 military C130’s equipped with modular airborne firefighting systems.”

Jones says air tankers only play a role in the national firefighting effort and that it’s the firefighters on the ground who put out wildfires.

Three Chinook helicopters have been delivered to Fort Carson for a new combat aviation brigade. The Army says the CH-47D Chinooks were transferred from the 1st Combat Aviation Brigade at Fort Riley, Kansas, this week. Fort Carson will be the home of the 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, which will have up to 2,700 soldiers and 113 helicopters. Activation of the unit is expected in April.


Comments are closed.


October 27, 2016 | NPR · The smartphone chipmaker has agreed to buy NXP Semiconductors for $38 billion. The deal allows Qualcomm to rely less on the smartphone industry. NXP makes semiconductors for cars.

October 27, 2016 | NPR · These birds fly from Europe to sub-Saharan Africa, but they don’t touch down on the continent. The researchers say new findings raise questions about “when and to what extent swifts need to sleep.”

AFP/Getty Images
October 27, 2016 | NPR · Protecting decades-old systems from hackers is like “trying to put air bags into an old car,” the government’s chief information officer says. The administration proposes $3.1 billion in upgrades.

Arts & Life

October 27, 2016 | NPR · NPR’s Kelly McEvers talks to Washington Post reporter Alyssa Rosenberg, who has written a series for the paper about how Hollywood and pop culture has influenced the way the public perceives police.

Courtesy of Amazon Studios/Magnolia Pictures
October 27, 2016 | NPR · In Jim Jarmusch’s jagged documentary, Iggy Pop reflects on the necessary recklessness that made The Stooges punk legends.

Sony Pictures Entertainment
October 27, 2016 | NPR · After three adaptations, including The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, the lively heresies of Dan Brown’s bestselling thrillers have sunk into timid incoherence.


Courtesy of the aritst
October 27, 2016 | WXPN · Dawes, Lydia Loveless and more also joined NPR’s Ann Powers and Jewly Hight for intimate rounds of storytelling and music at Nashville’s Union Station Hotel during AmericanaFest 2016.

Eric Coleman
October 27, 2016 | NPR · On this week’s +1 podcast, NPR Music contributor Timmhotep Aku talks with singer and rapper Anderson .Paak and producer Knxwledge about their new collaboration under the name NxWorries.

October 27, 2016 | KCRW · The beloved alt-rock band plays a special session for KCRW at The Theatre at Ace Hotel in Los Angeles.

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac