RIFLE, CO: The city of Rifle and Garfield County, with unparalleled support from partnering Western Slope agencies, are making a bid to host a new state-funded research center whose mission is to improve aerial firefighting techniques. The Center for Excellence for Advanced Technology Aerial Firefighting was created as part of the same bill pushed by former Sen. Steve King that established an aerial firefighting fleet. The state has already acquired two planes equipped with remote sensing thermal technology, but the center has yet to establish a home. State officials have asked Colorado towns to make a pitch to host the research facility. Rifle is an excellent choice for the center as it meets all the criteria of location, access, and support capabilities. Choosing Rifle would also benefit a rural area of the state. Read more in the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel.