Gov. Polis, Sen. Bennet, Sen. Hickenlooper Welcome FEMA Assistance on Devastating Wildfires

Saturday, January 16, 2021

DENVER - The federal government declared that a major disaster exists in the State of Colorado and approved Federal assistance for the Cameron Peak Fire in Larimer County and the East Troublesome Fire in Grand County to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by wildfires from September 6 to November 5, 2020, following Governor Polis previous request on December 23, 2020. 

“This is welcomed relief from the federal government at a time when Coloradans and our communities impacted by these devastating wildfires need it,” said Governor Polis. “I’m thankful to Colorado’s federal delegation including Congressman Neguse, first responders, local partners for their collaboration and efforts to respond to these wildfires and to secure these resources and look forward to building back stronger than before.” 

“Last year our state experienced a record-setting wildfire season that destroyed homes and businesses and threatened air and water quality,“ said Senator Michael Bennet. “This major disaster declaration we supported will help communities across Colorado recover. I remain committed to investing in our forests and watersheds so we are better prepared for the next wildfire season.”

“Within three months last year, Colorado experienced our three largest wildfires on record,” said Senator Hickenlooper. “As Governor, I saw how devastating wildfires can be to our friends and neighbors who lost homes, lives, and communities. This disaster funding will help Coloradans recover and make our forests more resilient as we work to prevent future climate-fueled catastrophes.”

The declaration approved FEMA's Public Assistance program, which provides federal assistance for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by wildfire. The program is a federal cost-sharing grant. The request for assistance to Boulder County due to the Calwood Fire and individual assistance for all counties is still being reviewed. 

Last October, Gov. Polis met with Coloradans directly affected by the devastating wildfires. Governor visited Grand, Larimer, and Boulder Counties to see the impacts of the fires in each community, met with officials, and discussed the State response to wildfires. Gov. Polis announced a new statewide fund to help wildfire victims and the Polis administration provided tax relief to victims of the East Troublesome fire. Colorado’s 20 largest wildfires have all occurred since 2000 and the three largest occurred in 2020; Cameron Peak, East Troublesome, and Pine Gulch.