Chief Matt Packard of the Colorado State Patrol in the Department of Public Safety next discussed strategic policy initiatives, as well as the reduction in the number of fatal and injury crashes across the state. Discussion followed about the effectiveness of public campaigns and community engagement.
Mike Morgan, Director of the Division of Fire Prevention and Control in the Department of Public Safety, discussed the division's strategic policy initiatives and the challenging fire season this past summer. In answer to committee questions, Mr. Morgan said that the increase in fires is due to a number of factors, including, but not limited to, people living closer to wildland-urban interfaces, population increase, climate change, and drought. The committee asked questions about slash and burns and other mitigation opportunities. Mr. Morgan also commented on working with federal and local agencies in an effort to curtail fires. Director Hilkey suggested a need for a state fire commission. The committee discussed pine beetle mitigation and managing fires with a more aggressive and integrated approach.