December 31, 2021
Press Release: Town of Buena Vista All Hazard Program
On November 30, 2021, the Town of Buena Vista was notified that the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) had determined that the Town of Buena Vista All-Hazard program did not comply with their requirements since the Town has contracted with Chaffee County Fire Protection District to provide local fire emergency services. This determination was unexpected, so the Town spent the last few weeks in December appealing this decision and exploring alternatives to preserve this program. Unfortunately, there are no options at this time, and we will transition the program resources to other Wildland Units including Chaffee County Fire Protection District.
The good news is that Chaffee County Fire operates a Wildland program utilizing their equipment and people resources. Local resources that were involved with the Buena Vista All-Hazard Program will have the opportunity to work through Chaffee County Fire. The Town of Buena Vista and surrounding areas are better prepared and protected from fire emergencies through our partnership with Chaffee County Fire. A few key points regarding the Buena Vista All-Hazard Program.
- The Town of Buena Vista started its Wildland Program in 2018 and operated it from 2018-2021. The program did provide a nice revenue stream that primarily covered administrative costs and helped offset some costs for local fire protection.
- After the Town contracted with Chaffee County Fire in early 2021, we were given an indication in June 2021 from the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention & Control that we could continue a standalone Wildland Program
- Notice about the NWCG determination was received on November 30, 2021, providing only a few weeks to explore alternatives
- The Town determined that it was best to notify our All-Hazard personnel by mid-December that this change was likely coming so they could prepare to join another organization
- The Town is confident that this change does not impact local fire emergency response. Resources with the Buena Vista All-Hazard program were mainly located outside of the area and deployed to incidents around the state and outside of the state. Chaffee County Fire is well equipped and staffed to respond to local emergencies
- Chaffee County Fire will continue to operate a Wildland Program, providing training, experience, and access to resources for local events
- The Town, Chaffee County Fire, and other local agencies work together through the Chaffee County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters and large-scale emergencies, while also reducing vulnerabilities to hazards. More information about the OEM https://www.chaffeecounty.org/Emergency-Management
- For questions and concerns about local wildland fire protection or how to get involved, please contact Chaffee County Fire at (719) 395-6545