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Photo by Dennis Webb

Dave Toelle, regional fire management officer in Rifle for the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control, shows a sensor ball that’s used for infrared imaging and other fire reconnaissance work on one of two high-tech firefighting aircraft purchased by the state. Photo by Dennis Webb

Research center marks region’s growing firefighting role

RIFLE — When state officials recently chose the Rifle Garfield County Airport as the site of an aerial firefighting research center, it marked an expansion of a relatively new firefighting role that a state agency with a broadened mission is playing in the region.
Measures already taken recently by the state Division of Fire Prevention and Control include the assignment of a state fire management officer and engine crew at the airport to work with other agencies in fire responses, and making available across Colorado new state aerial firefighting support including two high-tech fire reconnaissance planes.

State will draw money from severance taxes

DENVER — Despite calls from the Western Slope not to do so, next year’s proposed $28 billion spending plan includes taking money from severance taxes to help pay refunds required by the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.

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