GOP pushes for state-owned firefighting fleet

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email
Governor John Hickenlooper doesn’t support the idea of Colorado Republicans wanting to buy equipment to combat wildfires.

MGN Online A structure off of Herring Road burns out of control in the midst of the Black Forest Fire in Colorado Springs, Photo Credit: Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post, Photo Date: June 11th, 2013

DENVER (AP) -- Colorado Republicans want the state to buy an aerial firefighting fleet to help combat wildfires, but it's an idea Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper does not support.

Republicans are introducing legislation that would require the state to buy four military planes and three helicopters to aid firefighting efforts. The Republicans say the fleet is pricey but essential given Colorado's wildfire risk.

On Thursday, Hickenlooper said having a state-owned fleet would be too costly and that the idea needs further study.

Colorado has endured destructive wildfire seasons recently. The worst fires have included blazes in Colorado Springs and Fort Collins, which destroyed more than 1,000 homes and killed five people during the past two years.

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