As Colorado turns 146, Gov. Jared Polis and other state officials spent Colorado Day celebrating the efforts of local groups working to prevent wildfires.

The governor joined AmeriCorps and Mile High Youth Corps in Green Mountain Falls near Woodland Park Monday morning. There, those groups have been working to thin out the forest to not only prevent wildfires from starting, but also make them easier to fight once they do.

“It’s not a question of if,” Polis said, “it’s a question of when there’s gonna be the next fire in these areas.”

As of Aug. 1, Phillip Ponce, a member of Mile High, said they have thinned out almost 27 acres of forest.

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