DURANGO — A year ago on May 17, it wasn’t an act of God or luck that helped hold back an encroaching wildfire from a small subdivision and a primary water source in southwestern Colorado. It was careful, advance planning.
When the Plumtaw fire grew rapidly to about 700 acres just 7 miles north of Pagosa Springs, fire responders knew they already had a stretch of land — cleared of underbrush and next to a road — where they could push the flames away from the subdivision and water ditch. The fuel break, completed in 2021, was strategically located for that exact purpose.
This month, the federal government announced it is sending $46.7 million, from trillion- and multibillion-dollar packages passed in 2021 and 2022, to Colorado to fund similar fuel breaks around…
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