The proposal comes in the wake of massive blazes, like the Black Forest and Waldo Canyon fires, that have torched a thousand homes and killed five people.
At a news conference, GOP lawmakers proposed the state lease three firefighting helicopters for this year's fire season and acquire four C-130s that could be retrofitted as tankers for next year.
"We're one match strike, one lightning strike, one possible terrorist, arsonist match strike away from a catastrophic fire," Senator Steven King (R-Grand Junction) said.
King estimates it would cost up to $12 million a year to lease the choppers and about $28 million to retrofit the tankers.
On Thursday, the governor dismissed the idea as too costly, saying it needs further study.