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Feds have Plans to Reduce Risk of Wilffires

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) — Federal officials have announced a new federal, local and private partnership to help reduce the risk of wildfires that could threaten western water supplies and hydroelectric facilities.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack were in northern Colorado for the announcement Friday of the Western Watershed Enhancement Partnership. The U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation are launching the partnership with a pilot project in the Upper Colorado headwaters and Big Thompson watershed in northern Colorado, where a destructive fire burned last year.

In the pilot, the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District and Colorado State Forest Service will work with the federal agencies on forest thinning, prescribed burns and restoring burned forests near reservoirs and dams. The federal agencies are working on similar arrangements around the West.

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