Colorado

Feb 26, 2013 1:03 PM by Jeff Langan

New bill would change how state does controlled burns

DENVER (AP) - State-prescribed forest fires in Colorado would have a new set of safeguards under a bill that has gotten unanimous initial approval in the state Senate.

A bill approved Tuesday adds a series of additional safeguards to the protocol for prescribed burns on state forest land. Prescribed burns are credited with clearing scrub and keeping forests healthy, but they also carry risk. A fatal wildfire in the foothills west of Denver last March was started by a state-set burn that went out of control. Three people died.

Changes to the fire protocol include new training for burn managers and new requirements to keep blazes from going beyond the intended area.

One more Senate vote is required before the bill heads to the House.

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