In a meeting that clocked in at just 17 minutes Tuesday, the Fremont County Board of Commissioners approved a contract with the Colorado Department of Corrections’ offender labor crews to remove wildfire hazards throughout the county.
The county, which has worked with the crew in the past, is planning to use the workers to remove debris and other hazards. The agreement, County Manager Sunny Bryant said, was created as a blanket contract for the crew’s services.
“We’ve used this crew extensively in the past,” Commissioner Tim Payne said. “We thought we ought to have a countywide contract with them.”
The offender labor crews are part of the DOC’s Colorado Correctional Industries division, which provides inmate-led services and products, ranging from firefighting to farming.
When it comes to wildfires, the State Wildland Inmate Fire Team works on fighting and preventing them.
Mark Fairbairn, the department’s public information officer, said in an email that the program is based in three Colorado locations, including Skyline Correctional Center in Cañon City, and has 74 participants total.
“All offenders in the program are housed in minimum security facilities and must meet the facilities requirements for an external gate pass to be allowed off property,” Fairbairn wrote. “All participants in the SWIFT program receive certified S-130/S-190 Red Card training, equivalent to that of which all private and governmental wild land fire fighters receive.”
For some offenders, he added, the department offers Sawyer training and Squad Boss training, which are more advanced.
Under the county’s new contract, the services will be…
click here to read more.