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Mesa County Commissioners declare local disaster emergency due to Pine Gulch

GRAND JUNCTION, CO — The Mesa County Commissioners board unanimously approved a resolution this morning to declare a local disaster emergency as a result of the Pine Gulch wildfires. The declaration, provided by Andy Martsolf, emergency manager for Mesa County, and Pete Baier, county administrator, will allow the county to “assess and implement watershed protection and the ability to access available emergency funding sources.”

During the meeting, Martsolf said that because the fire, which started on July 31 as a result of lightning, began on public land and did not reach private property until August 2, there’s a formal process that must be followed before it becomes a state responsibility. Declaring a local disaster emergency would “make more sense” than to “rely on someone else’s declaration.”

The full resolution is below: