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Disaster declaration authorizes state funds, National Guard to help battle the High Park Fire in Larimer County

DENVER — Tuesday, June 12, 2012 — A disaster declaration signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper allocates $20 million to the state’s Disaster Emergency Fund to pay for firefighting efforts related to the High Park Fire.


The governor gave verbal approval hours after the fire started on Saturday for the disaster declaration. He also authorized the use of Colorado National Guard resources. Today, he formally signed an Executive Order for both actions.


“The High Park Fire’s proximity to numerous homes, property, and critical infrastructure poses an imminent danger to life and property,” the Executive Order says.


The $20 million to help pay for firefighting efforts will come from two sources: $12 million from the Major Medical Insurance Fund; and $8 million from the Perpetual Base Account of the Severance Tax Fund.


These funds may be used to pay for resources as requested for reimbursement by Larimer County or appropriate state agencies and as approved by the Director of the Division of Emergency Management to assist with government costs incurred by government entities, including costs incurred by non-profit organizations on behalf of government entities.


State law does not allow people who have lost homes or property in the fire to seek reimbursement from these funds.


Finally, the Executive Order authorizes the Director of the Colorado Division of Emergency Management and the Colorado State Forest Service to apply to the federal government for funds available for reimbursement and to coordinate application for any other funds available related to this disaster emergency.


The signed Executive Order can be found here.