County commissioners look toward summer

As summer approaches and Moffat County dries out, officials are preparing for the impending fire season.

Sheriff Tim Jantz on Tuesday presented the county commissioners with the 2007 Moffat County Fire Operating Plan for their approval and signatures.

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"It provides guidelines to all the agencies involved in fighting wildland fires in the county," Jantz said. "It contains a resource list and designates protection areas. It covers who is responsible for what."

Jantz said that in the first 12 hours of a fire, the agency that can make the quickest effective fire response is dispatched initially to the fire. If a unit belonging to the Bureau of Land Management is closest, it can cross onto private land to fight the fire.

The operating plan covers personnel, equipment and radio communication procedures to be followed, as well as determining who will cover the cost of a fire.

"It's a strong safety net financially and for the personnel involved in fighting fires," Jantz said.

On Tuesday, commissioners also signed an agreement with A&S Construction of Cañon City for an overlay project on Moffat County roads 7 and 183.

Also known as "the bypass road" northwest of Craig, the two county roads running from Colorado Highway 13 north of Craig to U.S. Highway 40 west of Craig will be receiving three inches of asphalt overlay this summer at a cost of $978,565.

Moffat County Road 4, near the Wyoming state line, will have an additional 2 1/2 miles paved this summer, also by A&S Construction at a cost of $424,810.

Funding for these projects comes from a $1.5 million Department of Local Affairs grant that requires no matching funds from the county.

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