Colorado Revised Statutes Title 29. Government Local § 29-20-105.5. Intergovernmental cooperation--intergovernmental agreements to address wildland fire mitigation--land owned by municipality for utility purposes--legislative declaration

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(1) The general assembly hereby finds, determines, and declares that:

(a) As wildland fires are impervious to the territorial boundaries of political subdivisions, adequate protection against the harm and hazards caused by such fires necessitates the full cooperation of all governmental entities within whose contiguous territorial boundaries forest lands or wildland areas are located;

(b) Because of the likely threat that wildland fires may cross territorial boundaries, particularly if cooperative fire mitigation policies are not established and maintained, protecting the public from the dangers of such fires, especially fires occurring in wildland-urban interface areas, is a matter of statewide concern;

(c) The provisions of this section are necessary to protect the public from the dangers of forest land and wildland fires;  and

(d) The provisions of this section are enacted for the purpose of authorizing and requiring intergovernmental cooperation between a county and any local governments that own land areas located within the county to mitigate the harm caused by forest land or wildland fires affecting such contiguous land areas in the interest of protecting the public health and safety.

(2) As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires:

(a) “Fire department” shall have the same meaning as set forth in section 24-33.5-1202(3.7), C.R.S., and includes a fire department that uses paid firefighters, volunteer firefighters, or both.  The term includes, without limitation, a not-for-profit nongovernmental entity that is organized to provide firefighting services.

(b) “Forest land” shall have the same meaning as set forth in section 39-1-102(4.3), C.R.S.

(b.5) “Local government” means a home rule or statutory city, town, territorial charter city, or a city and county.  “Local government” does not include a county or a home rule county.

(c) “Wildland area” means an area in which development is essentially nonexistent, except for roads, railroads, power lines, and similar infrastructure, and in which structures, if present, are widely scattered.

(d) “Wildland fire” means an unplanned or unwanted fire in a wildland area, including an unauthorized human-caused fire, an out-of-control prescribed fire, and any other fire in a wildland area where the objective is to extinguish the fire.

(e) “Utility purposes” means the use or management of property by a local government that is reasonably related to the provision of electric, natural gas, water, wastewater, and telecomunication services.

(3)(a)(I) On or before July 1, 2012, each local government that owns any land area for any reason other than for utility purposes that is located either entirely or partially outside its own territorial boundaries and inside the territorial boundaries of a county and that contains at least fifty percent forest land or land that constitutes a wildland area shall enter into an intergovernmental agreement with the county for the purpose of mitigating forest land or wildland fires affecting the contiguous land areas of the local government and county.

(II) On or before July 1, 2012, each local government that owns any land area for utility purposes that is located either entirely or partially outside its own territorial boundaries and inside the territorial boundaries of a county and that contains at least fifty percent forest land or land that constitutes a wildland area shall either:

(A) Enter into an intergovernmental agreement with the county for the purpose of mitigating forest land or wildland fires affecting the contiguous land areas of the local government and county;  or

(B) Enter into an agreement with the Colorado state forest service created in section 36-7-201(1), C.R.S., for the purpose of mitigating forest land or wildland fires affecting the contiguous land areas of the local government and county, and provide notification of the agreement to any county in which the local government owns any land area.

(III) In association with the governmental parties entering into any intergovernmental agreement or agreement with the Colorado state forest service, the parties to the agreement shall consult with any utility providers that have facilities in the areas subject to the agreement to the extent the provisions of the agreement will affect the providers.

(b) Any agreement required by subparagraph (I) or (II) of paragraph (a) of this subsection (3) shall address, without limitation, the following matters:

(I) The identification of all parties to the agreement and their respective roles and responsibilities with respect to the mitigation of forest land and wildland fires;

(II) The procedures for cooperation and coordination among the parties to the agreement;

(III) Management objectives for forest land and wildland fire prevention, preparedness, mitigation, suppression, reclamation, or rehabilitation and the designation of the local government with fiscal and operational authority for each objective;

(IV) A description of available emergency or mutual aid resources in the event of forest land or wildland fires;

(V) The specification of reimbursement and billing procedures;  and

(VI) Action that may be undertaken by one party to the agreement if another party to the agreement fails to satisfy its duties or responsibilities under the agreement.

(c) The agreement required pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subsection (3) shall be executed by all parties to the agreement.

(4) Nothing in this section shall require any local government to enter into a new agreement if the local government is a party to an agreement in existence as of August 5, 2009, including, without limitation, a mutual aid agreement, that satisfies the requirements of this section unless the terms of any such agreement, including a mutual aid agreement, fail to address the responsibility among local governments for mitigating wildland fires in wildland-urban interface areas.

(5)(a) In accordance with the requirements of section 33-10-108(3)(a), C.R.S., and pursuant to a contract, intergovernmental agreement, or memorandum of understanding, the division of parks and wildlife created in section 33-9-104, C.R.S., may allow fire mitigation personnel and accompanying equipment and material under the control or supervision of a fire department to enter state parks, state recreation areas, and natural areas for the purpose of mitigating forest land or wildland fires in or around such parks, recreation areas, and natural areas.  Permissible activities to be undertaken by a fire department under this paragraph (a) include, without limitation, prescribed burning as a component of wildfire mitigation or forest or wildland management and exercises to promote the training of firefighting personnel.

(b) Nothing in paragraph (a) of this subsection (5) shall be construed as affecting the authority of any state agency other than the division of parks and wildlife to enter into a contract, intergovernmental agreement, or memorandum of understanding for the purpose of allowing fire mitigation personnel and accompanying equipment and material under the control or supervision of a fire department to enter land areas under the jurisdiction of the state agency to undertake the permissible activities specified in paragraph (a) of this subsection (5).

(c) For purposes of this subsection (5), “state agency” shall have the same meaning as set forth in section 24-18-102(9), C.R.S.

Cite this article: FindLaw.com - Colorado Revised Statutes Title 29. Government Local § 29-20-105.5. Intergovernmental cooperation--intergovernmental agreements to address wildland fire mitigation--land owned by municipality for utility purposes--legislative declaration - last updated January 01, 2019 | https://codes.findlaw.com/co/title-29-government-local/co-rev-st-sect-29-20-105-5/


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