Bennet, Gardner, Tipton Introduce Bill to Establish the West Fork Fire Station

Washington, D.C. - Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D) and Cory Gardner (R), along with Representative Scott Tipton (R), today introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation to convey about four acres of Forest Service land to Dolores County for the location of a new fire station along the West Fork of the Dolores River. Without a station, fires pose a greater threat to the West Fork community, and homeowners are unable to purchase insurance. Building a fire station would decrease response times to emergency calls, reduce the financial burden on the region's other emergency responders, and provide a staging area to respond to wildfires.

"This bipartisan legislation-drafted in consultation with Dolores County and the Forest Service-is a win for homeowners and emergency responders in the West Fork," Bennet said. "I will continue to work with my colleagues to quickly advance this bill so the West Fork community has access to essential safety and readiness services, just as other Coloradans do across the state."

"Municipal firehouses are an important part of many communities across Colorado," Gardner said. "This bipartisan legislation, which has broad support at both the federal and local level, will ensure the West Fork fire station can be built on land at no cost to the taxpayer, provide a staging area for Forest Service personnel during wildland fire events in the area and also serve the community with more swift response times for decades to come."

"Frequent and devastating wildfires have ravaged Western states, making it more vital than ever to ensure that every community is prepared for similar catastrophes," Tipton said. "Located on the border of the San Juan National Forest, Dolores County is in critical need of a fire station. I am proud to introduce legislation that will not only help to protect this national forest, but will also ensure the protection of private property and most importantly human lives."

"Dolores County, the citizens of the area, as well as surrounding emergency service providers, all recognize the immediate need for the fire station," wrote the Dolores County Board of County Commissioners.

A letter of support from the Dolores County Board of County Commissioners is available HERE.

A copy of the West Fork Fire Station Act of 2017 is available HERE. A map of the conveyance parcel is available HERE.