Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Forest Service’s (USFS) announcement it will award contracts to five companies to provide a total of seven Next Generation air tankers for wildfire suppression.
“While Colorado has enjoyed several surprise spring snowstorms that have brought some much-needed moisture to our state, the long-term trends leave our forests at risk of devastating wildfires. Last year’s wildfires made it clear that we must be prepared to act swiftly and comprehensively to prevent widespread destruction. These new air tankers will enable the Forest Service and firefighting officials to more effectively contain these fires early on, and prevent extensive damage to our forests and surrounding communities.”
Bennet has called for the modernization of our air tanker fleet and supported a bill allowing the Forest Service to purchase up to seven more tankers. He also led efforts to secure Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) resources to help Colorado communities recover from the Waldo Canyon and High Park fires.
For more information on the USFS announcement, click here.