One lightning strike.

One unattended campfire.

One drought season.

That’s how far away Colorado is from the next megafire, warned Dan Gibbs, executive director of the Department of Natural Resources.

Gibbs, a certified wildland firefighter, was on the front lines of the Cameron Peak fire two years ago.

“The 2020 fire season taught us that the status quo of our forest health and wildfire mitigation programs are no longer cutting it,” he said.

Gibbs, along with other state and local officials, joined Gov. Jared Polis on Monday, visiting one of the 49 state-funded projects intended to address wildfire mitigation, touring a private property in Jefferson County, which faces the highest wildfire risk in the state.

“We need to up our game on fire preparedness,” Polis said, surrounded by state and county officials and with a crew of seven from the Mile High Youth Corps, the boots-on-the-ground young people who are gaining job skills, as well as protecting homes and people from wildfire danger.

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