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.


Unknown Tlaxcalan artists via Wikimedia Commons
November 25, 2015 | NPR · La Malinche was an Indian woman who served as an interpreter for Cortes — at a cost to her reputation. Even 500 years later, she’s reviled in Mexico.

AFP/Getty Images
November 25, 2015 | NPR · The Pentagon’s report says the hospital attack in Afghanistan was an accident. Jason Cone says it raises more questions than it answers.

Getty Images
November 25, 2015 | NPR · The numbers remain small, and hard to quantify, but prosecutors seem to be under pressure to charge police in on-duty shootings, and the “benefit of the doubt” they enjoyed seems to be eroding.

Arts & Life

November 25, 2015 | NPR · No one knows the struggles and successes of women in Hollywood better than Nina Jacobson, the producer of the Hunger Games movies. NPR catches up with one of the most powerful women in the business.

Courtesy of Pixar
November 25, 2015 | NPR · Pixar’s second film of 2015 is no Inside Out story-wise, but its visuals and wonderful score make the time spent in its dino-packed alternate universe a pleasure.

Courtesy of Getty Images
November 25, 2015 | NPR · Amy Berg’s new documentary talks to friends and lovers of the iconic singer to say more about her complicated life than you get from many rock-star docs.


November 25, 2015 | NPR · Spirited and full of stellar harmonies, the new song by the Bay Area band working in the English folk genre takes inspiration from Greek mythology.

November 25, 2015 | NPR · When filmmaker Ryan Coogler and composer Ludwig Goransson went to work on Creed, they wanted to create an ambient, urban score like the one Goransson composed for Fruitvale Station. But they found they couldn’t get away from the iconic theme Bill Conti composed for the original Rocky.

Courtesy of the label
November 25, 2015 | NPR · The new compilation, This Record Belongs To______, comes packaged with a kids’ turntable. Will future generations who are not under the spell of their parents’ nostalgia ever learn to use them?

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac