Public Safety: Prevention of Wildfires

Public Safety Prevention of Wildfires HB 18-1051 Support Before governor Reps. Millie Hamner, D-Dillion, and Terri Carver, R-Colorado Springs; Sens. Don Coram, R-Montrose, and Mike Merrifield, D-Colorado Springs Meghan Dollar Proposed legislation from the Wildfire Matters Review Committee creates tougher penalties for individuals who leave camp fires unattended or have not extinguished them properly. In addition, the bill removes the requirement that counties post notices regarding unattended campfires. The hope is that individuals will take more precautions when operating fires in forested areas. The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, ACLU, and Criminal Defense Bar expressed concerns with the legislation, particularly with the increased penalties. A stakeholder meeting was convened, and the bill was amended in committee to address their concerns. The new language will not change the purpose of the bill, which is the prevention of catastrophic wildfires by creating a deterrent to leaving unattended fires.