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Fire Protection in the Arkansas Valley–An Overview and History 

The League of Women Voters of Chaffee County will host Robert Bertram, Fire Chief, Chaffee County Fire Protection District  (CCFPD) for an update on fire protection in the valley from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. May 8 at the Sangre de Cristo Electric Company, Community Room (29780 N. U.S. Highway 24, Buena Vista, CO  81211).

Chaffee County Fire Protection District Wildfire Mitigation Coordinator Jeff Zechman (right) is pictured with Chaffee Fire Chief Robert Bertram at Fire Station 4 in Poncha Springs.

Since the late 1800s, Chaffee County governmental leaders have made fire departments and fire protection a priority for its citizens. Chief Bertram will be introduced by local historian and co-author of “History of Chaffee County” Suzy Kelley who will provide an overview of the early history of fire departments in the county,

In his interactive presentation, Chief Bertram will outline CCFPD services, funding sources and governing, the Intergovernmental Agreement with the town of Buena Vista and the future in county fire protection.

“There has been a drastic increase of catastrophic wildland fires in the state over the past 20 years,” says Chief Bertram. “Aside from the Decker Fire, Chaffee County has not seen a major wildland fire in over a hundred years.  It is not a question of if, it is a question of when. We need to be prepared for that day.”

The public is invited to attend. The presentation will be preceded by a brief League business meeting. For more information and to learn about the League’s activities, visit