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Effort against 416 Fire is remarkable

Sen. Don Coram

I had the opportunity this week to visit with the Emergency Response Team in regards to the 416 Fire. I am so impressed with the team. This group is so knowledgeable and professional.

The Gold King Mine spill and previous fires have honed the response team’s skills.

These firefighters from all over have done a remarkable job. When you look at the number of homes in harm’s way, it is a miracle that no structures have been lost. This miracle occurred because of the dedication and training of these firefighters. Thank you, you are true heroes.

The trust and coordination that we have witnessed from La Plata County, city of Durango, the governor’s office and federal and state agencies have been remarkable. Even more amazing are the number of unpaid volunteers who have been so valuable. Thank you.

Hopefully, Mother Nature will be kind and bring us some gentle rains. The fire will end, but that is only chapter one of the story. Fires of this magnitude will have a long-acting impact. For years, the area will be subject to erosion and flash floods until vegetation can reestablish.

The cost of the fire will be far more than just the cost of fighting it. The burden on those homeowners who were displaced is traumatic, but thankfully, we have not lost lives or structures. I could not even fathom to think of how large the economic impact has been, and will continue to be, on Durango and La Plata County.

Although Silverton has not had fire damage, the economic impact to that community has been huge. The closure of the train and U.S. Highway 550 has virtually put them on an island.

I wish you all the best, and rest assured that Rep. Barbara McLachlan and I will be available to assist you if needed. Remain strong and positive.

Don Coram, R-Montrose, represents State Senate District 6. Contact Sen. Coram by phone at (303) 866-4884 or by email at don@doncoram.com.