Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet joined Senators Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) in introducing a bipartisan resolution today to honor the men and women who place their lives at risk as firefighters to contain and extinguish wildfires. The bipartisan resolution is cosponsored by 19 senators.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to the firefighters who bravely fought and continue to fight the fires in Colorado and the West,” Bennet said. “They are on the front lines of one of the most grueling and dangerous jobs in the country. In Colorado, we watched them willingly risk their lives to protect our land, our homes and our friends, family and neighbors. Colorado thanks them.”
“This year Colorado has already seen some of the most destructive and devastating fires in its history,” Udall said. “My thoughts go out to the fire’s victims, their families and the tens of thousands of evacuees. I introduced this resolution to ensure that we remember that our losses would have been much greater were it not for our brave firefighters who work to contain and extinguish wildfires. It is important that we reflect on their work to protect lives and property in some of the most dangerous and unpredictable circumstances, while keeping Colorado open for business.”
“The lives of so many Utah families have been affected by disastrous fires sweeping across our state,” Hatch said. “Thousands of brave firefighters have put their lives in danger to protect the lands, homes, and lives of Utahns and our neighbors in the West. This resolution honoring these great men and women comes at a time when we need their services the most, and it is the least we can do to thank them for being on the front lines to protect us in such dangerous situations each and every day.”
Colorado, Utah and much of the West are in the midst of a severe fire season. Already, the High Park Fire and Waldo Canyon Fires each have been the most destructive fires in Colorado history. Wildfires have burned more than 200,000 acres of private, state and federal land in Colorado this year, and more than 360,000 acres of land in Utah.
So far this year, Colorado and Utah have had thousands of firefighters, military personnel, hundreds of Hot Shots, and over half of the national fleet of air tankers deployed to Colorado to fight large-scale blazes.