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King and Hickenlooper at Odds Over Wildfire Plan

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Updated: Sat, 25 Jan 2014 06:25:07 MST

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - State Senator Steve King is introducing a new bill to buy a wildfire fighting air fleet in Colorado, but Governor Hickenlooper isn't on board with his plan.

      

Sen. King said he’s worried about the safety of Western Colorado’s watersheds from wildfires.

 

Now he's looking towards California's air fleet as a model for Colorado, but Hickenlooper said the expenses in King's plan are too much a burden on the state at this time.

 

“I talk to people who are very familiar with Cal Fire, and they believe within seven years we can pay for our fleet: through advertising, through offsetting the costs, through not flying through fire season. There are just a number of ways,” argued Sen. King.

   

King's bill would buy four C-130 air tankers, and lease three firefighting helicopters for the next year.

  

The Governor said some of these air tankers can cost $12,000 per hour when deployed, reports KDVR.

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