While there has been an outpouring of thanks to the firefighters who saved our community from the 416 Fire, I think our local law enforcement has been somewhat overlooked. In particular, the Sheriff’s Office.
Part of Sheriff Sean Smith’s job description includes, among many other responsibilities, that he shall act as the county fire warden and “is responsible for the coordination of fire suppression efforts in case of ... wildfires occurring in unincorporated areas of the county outside the boundaries of a fire protection district or that exceed the capabilities of the fire protection district to control or extinguish.”
Essentially, this means that the sheriff is responsible for calling and coordinating any of the outside agencies needed to control fires that are beyond our local capabilities. Smith has done an exemplary job in handling this aspect as demonstrated by the awards given him by the Type I and Type II incident commands.
The entire staff of the Sheriff’s Office also deserves many accolades for their work during the fire and floods. There are obviously many other volunteers and local agencies that should receive thanks as well: the Durango police, the local mounted rangers, Butch Knowlton and the county OEM staff, just for starters.
I know there are many others who should receive recognition, and I hope readers will join me in offering thanks to Smith and all those who worked tirelessly during this time.
Also, prayers go out to those individuals and families who suffered devastating losses as a result of the floods.