USA — The following information was released by the Colorado Senate, Democratic Majority:
In a bipartisan collaboration, Sen. Jeanne Nicholson (D-Gilpin County) is working with Sen. Ellen Roberts (R-Durango) to move forward recommendations by the Lower North Fork Wildfire Commission. Sen. Nicholson and Sen. Roberts served on the Lower North Fork Wildfire Commission alongside Rep. Levy (D-Boulder) and Rep. Gerou (R-Evergreen) throughout the interim.
The legislature charged the commission with investigating causes of the wildfires and ways to prevent wildfires associated with escaped prescribed burns.
I am proud of the work Sen. Nicholson did on the Lower North Fork Wildfire Commission. Sen. Nicholson has built her life in a wildland-urban area just outside the Golden Gate State Park — she is committed to that community and others similar to it. She understands, firsthand, all the factors that must work together to keep Colorado safe from catastrophic wildfires, said Pres. John Morse.
Today, Sen. Nicholson introduced two wildfire bills that are a direct result of the Lower North Fork Wildfire Commission. The Senate Local Government committee heard SB 13-082, Wildfire Matters Review Committee, and moved it to the Senate Appropriations. The Senate Judiciary committee heard SB 13-083, Prescribed Burn Program, and moved it to the Senate Committee of the Whole.
SB 13-082, Wildfire Matters Review Committee, establishes a permanent interim committee to study wildfire prevention and mitigation policy. The committee will work with the Department of Public Safety and the State Forest Service, and will be comprised of ten legislators.
SB 13-083, Prescribed Burn Program, requires the Division of Fire Prevention and Control to establish a prescribed burn program. The program must have specific rules and standards, and there must be policy to address an escaped prescribed burn. The rules will specify that a state certified burn manager, or a nationally qualified burn boss, manage any prescribed burn.
Prescribed burns are an important method to prevent catastrophic wildfires, but they must be done correctly to avoid an escaped fire. We need to work together to not only keep Colorado beautiful, but also safe, said Sen. Nicholson.
Senator Nicolson serves Senate District 16, which includes Gilpin County, a small portion of Southwest Denver, and parts of western Boulder and Jefferson Counties reaching from Conifer to Superior. Senator Nicholson serves as the Democratic Caucus Chair for the Senate Majority. She is also the chair of the Local Government Committee and a member of the Health and Human Services Committee. Senator Nicholson is a public health nurse and former Gilpin County Commissioner.