State and Locals Combine Efforts to Combat Wildland Fires: #COFire

Berthoud Fire Protection District and Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control Enter into Historic Agreement for the Joint Staffing and Operation of a State Wildland Fire Engine

On Thursday, May 16, 2013, the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control and the Berthoud Fire Protection District will sign an agreement to jointly staff a wildland fire engine in Northern Colorado. This agreement, combining state and local resources on a daily basis is the first of its kind in Colorado. 

The signing ceremony will be at Berthoud Fire Protection District's main fire station at 275 Mountain Ave in Berthoud, Colorado at 1 p.m.

Colorado's system for combating wildland fires is a cooperative, inter agency system involving local, county, state, and federal agencies. The Division is the lead State agency for wildland fire suppression in Colorado. However, the Division is typically not called upon for assistance until wildland fires exceed the capability of the local jurisdictions to control or extinguish. The Division is exploring cost-effective and innovative service delivery partnerships to enhance the wildland fire suppression system within Colorado.

The Berthoud Fire Protection District is located in Southern Larimer County, and covers parts of Weld and Boulder Counties. The District is comprised of two stations that are staffed 24 hours a day and has a wildland fire program that provides resources to the inter agency system when needed.

Under the terms of the agreement, the Division is providing a specially designed wildland fire engine along with a fire officer (engine captain) to oversee operations. The District will provide year-round housing for the engine, and will provide two firefighters to staff the during the wildland fire season. The engine and crew will respond to wildfires in the District and its mutual aid response area, as well as state-wide as the need arises.

As an added benefit, when the engine is not out fighting wildfires, it will be available for other emergency responses within its boundaries. This will provide additional trained personnel at the scene of structure fires and other large incidents quickly, thereby, increasing the likelihood of stabilizing an incident quicker and more safely.

Both agencies are very excited about this new partnership and see it as a win-win situation. According to Stephen Charles, Chief of the Berthoud Fire Protection District, “we are able to add to our firefighting capability at little additional cost.” Paul Cooke, Director of the Division of Fire Prevention and Control adds, “Integrating State resources into local response systems will help to keep wildfires small, thereby reducing the threat to life and property.”

The division will be evaluating this program for potential future application elsewhere in the State.

For additional information about this agreement contact:

Matthew Branch
North East Regional Fire Management Officer
Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control
Robert Stumpf, Operations Chief
Berthoud Fire Protection District

Media Contact:

Micki Trost, Public Information Officer
Cell: 303-472-4087