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Posted on: July 25, 2022

Pueblo Fire Department Selected for Fire Mitigation Project with Colorado Strategic Wildfire Action

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PUEBLO—The City of Pueblo Fire Department was selected for the Colorado Strategic Wildfire Action Program (COSWAP) Workforce Development funding for a fire mitigation project. COSWAP awarded Pueblo Fire Department a six-week project focused on the riverbed areas in the city. “Pueblo Fire Department is excited to be selected for this fire mitigation opportunity and to partner with the Department of Corrections State Wildland Inmate Fire Teams to complete this project,” said Fire Chief Barb Huber. “This adds another layer of safety to our Pueblo community by addressing our needs in key areas like the waterways in our city.”

This project will enable the City of Pueblo to provide mitigation work in the area of Fountain Creek and the Arkansas River as the two bodies of water travel through the city. It will also allow for the treatment and mitigation of a stormwater drainage on the north part of Pueblo. These projects will be instrumental in removing the understory and invasive plants in these areas, thereby enhancing the useability of the area and decreasing wildfire risks to the area.

“Congratulations to the City of Pueblo Fire Department on receiving the COSWAP workforce development grant,” said Dan Gibbs, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Natural Resources. “Our program was created for precisely these types of projects in mind; to enable hand crews, like the Department of Corrections SWIFT crews, to work on fuels reduction projects to immediately benefit communities with a focus on protecting life, property and critical infrastructure.”

The Colorado Strategic Wildfire Action Program (COSWAP) within the Department of Natural Resources was launched by the Polis administration through the bipartisan SB21-258 to invest in targeted wildfire risk mitigation, prioritize and fund key mitigation projects. COSWAP is designed to quickly move $17.5 million state stimulus dollars to start on-the-groundwork on fuels reduction projects and increase Colorado's capacity to conduct critical forest restoration and wildfire mitigation work that will increase community resilience and protect life, property and infrastructure.

Chief Huber added, “The Colorado Strategic Wildfire Action Program is allowing communities across Colorado to address wildfire mitigation needs and provide additional person power for us to complete projects with workforce development support.”

The eligibility requirements of the COSWAP Workforce Development grant allowed for federal agencies, state agencies, local governments, tribes, public utilities with infrastructure or land ownership, registered homeowner associations, property owner associations, formal neighborhood associations, road districts, wildfire councils, or non-profit organizations that promote fuel reduction projects. Applicants are required to provide in-kind match in the form of project management, which will be provided by Pueblo Fire Department for this project.

For more information about the COSWAP program visit https://dnr.colorado.gov/divisions/forestry/co-strategic-wildfire-action-program.

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