Colorado River Ranch steps up to help rural river community
Colorado wildfires have devastated the state for the past two years, clearing thousands of acres and destroying homes and businesses in its path. While state and federal aid will play a role in recovery, a local river ranch in Gypsum, Colo. is stepping up to help the community with resources that will make a significant impact.
The owners of Colorado River Ranch recently donated a brand new, top of the line tactical fire tender to the Gypsum Fire Protection District (GFPD) When combating a rural fire, direct or immediate access to a water source or municipal water system is not guaranteed, making a tactical tender with the ability to hold between 1,000 and 4,000 gallons of water vital. “It’s a pretty important donation for us,” Gypsum Fire Protection District Fire Chief Justin Kirkland says. “With even just one or two people on a tactical tender, you can make a substantial attack on a rural fire; it’s a very versatile piece of equipment.”
Prior to this donation, GFPD’s tactical tenders were purchased in 1990, more than 30 years ago, but the department didn’t have the immediate funds to replace them. “Not long ago, we replaced our main fire truck and wildland brush truck, so that depleted our funds for the time being,” Kirkland said. “With this donation, this new tender means our firefighters have the best equipment and resources available to do the job. That’s going to make a big difference.”
In addition to donating the new fire truck, Colorado River Ranch purchased the old fire truck at Gypsum Fire Protection District; the money from the purchase goes directly to the fire station, and the old fire truck will stay at Colorado River Ranch for emergencies on site and at neighboring properties.
“The ranch is so much more than cattle production and a vacation experience for guests,” property manager Scott Jones says. “In these times of uncertainty with the fires, we have to lean on each other, and a new fire truck for the Gypsum Fire Department and keeping the old one here on site means we’re able to improve fire safety and provide the best resources for our neighbors and the rural ranching community.”
Jones and his wife Jennifer, both born and raised in Eagle County, have managed Colorado River Ranch for the past 14 years. From his perspective, it all comes down to one thing: community, “There’s 4,000 acres of land surrounding us right here in the middle of Colorado – it can’t be every ranch for themselves. We all have to be in this together, and that’s what we’re going to do.”