County puts out fire plan

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The community fire hazard and emergency-response assessment that Moffat County commissioners voted in November to conduct isn't necessary, commissioners now say.

The project would have created maps of vegetation that can fuel fire and road maps for rural sections of the county for emergency responders to use.

But commissioners on Tues-day said that much of what the project would have created already exists.

Commissioners would have paid for the project with a $180,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Admin-istration.

The federal government gave the county the grant to conduct fire assessments.

Since the county will not conduct the project, commissioners will return the grant money to the federal government.

"Even if it's federal money, it doesn't seem right to spend it if we don't need it," Commissioner Tom Gray said.

In November, commissioners voted to hire Anchor Point Group, a Boulder-based company that conducts fire plans, to handle the study.

At the time, commissioners said the project would cost $66,000 at most but that they expected it to be substantially less.

Commissioners sent a letter to Anchor Point on Tuesday informing the firm that the county no longer needed its services.

The company would have taken satellite photos of the county. The photos would have given firefighters and emergency responders an idea of the terrain before they respond to a call.

In their letter to Anchor Point, commissioners said they recently found out that the county could get the satellite images at no cost through an agreement with another company.

The project also would have created vegetation maps of the county.

Firefighters would have used the maps to predict how a wildfire might spread.

But the Bureau of Land Management already has vegetation maps, commissioners said.

The county could have used the money from the federal grant for initial plans to build firebreaks on private property, Gray said. But there wasn't enough interest by landowners, commissioners said.

When he campaigned, Gray opposed the concept of the county building firebreaks on private property. He said he still opposes it.

Brandon Johansson can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 213, or bjohansson@craigdailypress.com.

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