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Black Forest fire district

At the Black Forest Fire and Rescue Protection District Board of Directors regular meeting Feb. 21, discussions focused on a Colorado-wide wildfire fund and code enforcement for sprinkler systems.Colorado counties have been asked to contribute to a state wildfire fund, and the Black Forest fire district is considering the request. State officials are attempting to raise the amount of the fund from $1 million to $6 million. ìEl Paso County pays $109,000 and is about to be part of a pool of 25 counties to raise about $1 million a year to attack fires. The state contributes within the $10 to $15 million range,î said district Chief Dave Ury. ìThere are 30 some counties that do not contribute to the fund. Overall, everyone likes to treat this as an insurance policy and this is not an insurance policy. There is no money to be had.î”Realtors in the 70s and 80s contributed to a fund, in excess of ($) 10 million, controlled by the state,î said Walt Seelye, board member and fire wise coordinator. ìThree million was confiscated. If we contribute and make a sacrifice to the fund, I do not think that fund is safe.”ìThe fire marshal wants us to pay for something,î Ury said. ìMaybe we will have to go to the voters and establish a fire fund for this county.îThe department will continue discussions concerning wildfire protection funds. Beginning in April 2008, all newly built houses were required to install sprinkler systems for fire protection reasons.ìTo maintain consistency with the development code or building codes requires installation of sprinklers,î Ury said. ìWe required them because we do not have the resources to fight fires like Colorado Springs does, who still requires sprinklers.îHowever, county commissioners are dealing with a local legal issue regarding the requirement so enforcing the code is on hold, said Kerry Smith, fire marshal. At the same time, an agreement is emerging with the county on how to transfer command during a fire that calls for more resources than the district has. A 2002 fire in Black Forest cost $178,000, with four aerial water tanker drops at about $5,000 each.The board also considered the following items:

  • Upgrades to the radio communication systems with narrow banding to include new equipment: Bids are being considered along with services through Tri-Lakes Fire Department Communications Officer Elliot Linke. The upgrades are for participation in the Colorado Communication Network Consortium Authority.
  • The park committee received bids for the demolition of the old fire station. Two bids at $16,000 have been submitted.

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