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Legislative Year: 2021 Change

Bill Detail: SB21-166

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Title Colorado Fire Commission Recommendations
Status Sent to the Governor (06/15/2021)
Bill Subjects
  • State Government
House Sponsors J. McCluskie (D)
P. Will (R)
Senate Sponsors B. Rankin (R)
S. Fenberg (D)
House Committee Energy and Environment
Senate Committee Agriculture and Natural Resources
Date Introduced 03/02/2021

The bill implements recommendations of the 2020 Colorado Fire
Commission Annual Report.
Sections 1, 2, and 3 of the bill update 3 mutual aid statutes
affecting the responsibilities of requesting and assisting fire control.
Under current statutory provisions, all resources from an agency assisting
in fire prevention are under the control of the requesting agency and

liability is placed with the requesting agency. Under the changes made by
the bill, the assisting agency, working under the direction of the incident
commander, retains operational control of its resources and, therefore,
retains liability for the actions of its crews. These changes also add public
emergency medical services (EMS) agencies to the applicable statutory
provisions to allow for better coordination of EMS mutual aid resources.
Section 4 creates the state responsibility and large wildland fire
fund (fund) in the state treasury, which fund is to be administered by the
division of fire prevention and control (division) in the department of
public safety. Commencing July 1, 2021, and on July 1 of all subsequent
state fiscal years, the bill requires the state treasurer to make an annual
transfer from the general fund into the fund. Money in the fund must be
used to pay for the state's share of suppression costs on large
responsibility fires that are deemed to be the responsibility of the state.
The regional and statewide mutual aid system (RSMAS) is a
regional and statewide system that provides for the coordinated initial
response of emergency responders to emergency incidents. Section 5
establishes the RSMAS to be administered by the division.
The director of the division is required to establish, implement, and
maintain the RSMAS. Among the duties of the director in administering
the RSMAS is implementing the Colorado coordinated regional mutual
aid system (CCRMAS). The CCRMAS establishes 4 roughly equal
geographic areas within the state to be known as division of fire
prevention and control (DFPC) districts. Each DFPC district has a
regional mutual aid coordinator, whose duties include ensuring that a
competent mutual aid plan exists in each DFPC district and who serves
as the point of contact within the DFPC district and coordinates mutual
aid requests for fire and EMS resources. The bill specifies the duties of
each regional mutual aid coordinator and of the director of the division
with respect to administration of the RSMAS and CCRMAS overall.
Unless an emergency responder has opted out of the RSMAS and
CCRMAS, all emergency responders are part of the RSMAS and
CCRMAS. An emergency responder is relieved from any duty to make
its equipment and personnel available to the RSMAS and CCRMAS
under circumstances specified in the bill. An emergency responder that
opts out of the RSMAS and CCRMAS is only eligible for reimbursement
to the extent authorized in the rules promulgated by the director of the
The RSMAS and CCRMAS do not affect any other mutual aid
agreement that may be entered into by one or more emergency
At the end of any state fiscal year commencing with the 2022 state
fiscal year, section 6 requires the state treasurer to transfer any money in
the aviation resources line of the annual general appropriation act for that
same state fiscal year that would otherwise revert to the general fund into
the wildfire preparedness fund (WPF). Money transferred by the state
treasurer into the WPF must be used for the purpose of traditional
mitigation efforts. As long as money transferred into the WPF is being
expended for one of the purposes specified in the bill, the division may
allocate the money to any such purpose as will maximize the impact of
such funding as the division may determine in its sole discretion.
Not less than once every 3 years commencing January 15, 2025,
the division is required to report to the joint budget committee concerning
its expenditures from the transfers made into the WPF under the bill.

Committee Reports
with Amendments
Full Text
Full Text of Bill (pdf) (most recent)
Fiscal Notes Fiscal Notes (05/19/2021) (most recent)  
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