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Douglas County prepares for wildfire season


Information provided by Douglas County

The Board of Douglas County Commissioners recently approved four call-when-needed air support contracts, including one with Rampart Helicopter Services for wildland fire suppression.

“This time of year, we understand the importance of having every precaution in place to protect our communities should a wildfire occur,” said County Commissioner Roger Partridge. “That includes having as much wildland fire air support available as possible, allowing us to immediately respond to any wildland fire in the county.”

The Board of Douglas County Commissioners renewed contracts with four companies during its March 20 business meeting, all of which will provide aerial support on wildland fire including Castle Rock-based Rampart Helicopter Services, which has helped fight numerous wildland fires in Douglas County since 2010. The Board also adopted its Annual Operating Plan – which sets forth roles and responsibilities for the county, the state, and the U.S. Forest Service during a wildfire response in Douglas County; and new for 2018, approved an intergovernmental agreement for disaster mutual aid with neighboring El Paso County.

The County’s contract renewal with Rampart is good for a period of 12 months and an amount not to exceed $404,000. The actual amount will depend on how often the County uses Rampart’s services and chooses to place the company on exclusive use. The County may secure Rampart’s services in an exclusive manner, as needed, over the course of the next 12 months.

In addition to its contract with Rampart, the Board also renewed call-when-needed air support contracts with Heliqwest International, Inc. (up to $50,000 in helicopter services), Trans Aero, Ltd. (up to $50,000 in helicopter services), and 10 Tanker Air Carrier, LLC. (up to $100,000 in fixed-wing apparatus services). Each of those companies would assist Douglas County on an as-needed basis only, in the event of a major wildland fire.

“Due to the strong possibility of continued dry conditions in and around Douglas County, coupled with the limited air resource availability in the region for fighting wildland fire, it is imperative that we have every resource possible available to us,” said the County’s Director of Emergency Management Tim Johnson.

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