Pitkin County sheriff eyes fire costs | AspenTimes.com

Pitkin County sheriff eyes fire costs

Staff report
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO Colorado

ASPEN – Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo warned county commissioners Wednesday that he anticipates requesting budget allocations for both wildfire prevention and firefighting. He did not elaborate on the dollar amount he has in mind.

DiSalvo said he might request funding for an aggressive campaign aimed at making tourists, in particular, aware of the extreme wildfire danger that grips the state and the Aspen area. The Sheriff’s Office and area fire departments have already put $5,000 to the cause, he said.

The sooner the county can roll that message out, the better, Commissioner Rachel Richards agreed, offering support for additional funding.

In addition, DiSalvo said, it will be up to local agencies to fund and fight a wildfire for the first 24 hours, should one of that duration occur, before state resources take over. The sheriff said he expects to ask commissioners for a commitment to fund that effort, as well, should the need arise.

With major fires burning elsewhere around Colorado, DiSalvo also urged county residents to sign up for Pitkin Alerts (go to http://www.pitkinalert.org), to respond immediately should an evacuation order be issued and to have an evacuation kit already prepared that contains basic necessities and items of personal importance.