Governor Polis, Administration Officials Provide Joint Update on Boulder Fire Recovery Efforts
Polis Administration provides tax relief, unemployment insurance to help Marshall Fire disaster survivors recover faster
DENVER - Governor Jared Polis joined Lt. Governor Dianne Primavera and members of his Executive Cabinet to provide an update on the response and resources being provided at the state level to help the tens of thousands of Coloradans impacted by the Marshall Fire recover after approximately 991 structures were destroyed and 125 damaged.
Today, the Colorado Department of Revenue announced the agency will offer relief on state-collected taxes to Colorado taxpayers who have been affected by the Marshall Fire. The tax relief measures will mirror IRS measures in the same declared disaster area.
The Governor discussed the wide range of needs residents impacted in the region face, ranging from rebuilding their homes, repairing damaged property, mental health services addressing the emotional toll and help for those who have lost their source of income.
“This devastation happened quickly and many only had a few minutes to evacuate their homes. Too many Coloradans saw a lifetime of hard work reduced to memories -- first homes, businesses, community gathering places,” said Governor Polis. “That’s why our administration is focused on delivering helpful resources addressing a wide range of needs including re-housing homeowners and renters, providing mental and behavioral health services, and access to financial assistance. Together, we can help our fellow Coloradans build back in a way that makes this community more resilient with the support of people and community organizations across Colorado and the country.”
Gov. Polis and Congressman Neguse will join President Biden when he visits Colorado this Friday to survey the Marshall Fire damage and discuss federal support for the community. Governor Polis spoke with the President following the aftermath of the fire.
This week, Governor Polis with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment announced that Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) has been approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for individuals, including unemployed self-employed individuals, who were living, working, or commuting to work in the impacted areas at the time of the major disaster. The Governor also visited the Disaster Assistance Center in Lafayette, CO which opened its doors on Monday. Community members can go to the site to speak with service providers from Boulder County Housing and Human Services, Public Health, Mental Health Partners, FEMA, and many other area government and nonprofit organizations, and insurers.
“We welcome President Biden to Colorado and applaud his administration for making vital resources like FEMA Disaster Assistance Center and Disaster Unemployment Insurance available quickly to those who have experienced significant loss and help bolster resources available at the local one-stop Disaster Assistance Center,” added Governor Polis.
Lieutenant Governor Primavera, who previously represented the surrounding area in the legislature, discussed the behavioral health impact for Coloradans whose homes and businesses were damaged or lost. Lt. Governor Primavera directs the Office of Saving People Money on Healthcare and chairs the Behavioral Health Task Force.
“I want to thank the Governor, cabinet members, our partners at the county, local and federal levels, and volunteers from around the state for their quick response and tireless efforts in confronting this crisis. Over the coming weeks and months, the affected communities will come together to grieve, comfort, and support one another, and begin the process of rebuilding,” said Lt. Gov. Primavera. “We will be with them every step of the way. I encourage all those impacted to make use of these services and reach out if you need help - this is not a burden that you need to shoulder alone.”
Colorado’s Department of Public Health and Environment is working to stand up the Colorado Spirit Marshall Fire Crisis Counseling Program (CCP) to provide outreach crisis counselors to those who were directly impacted by the fire. Coloradans who need immediate assistance should contact the Colorado Crisis Services at 1-844-493-8255 or text “TALK” to 38255 or contact the National Disaster Helpline at 1-800-985-5990.
Director of Public Safety Stan Hilkey and Insurance Commissioner Mike Conway provided an overview of state and federal disaster assistance available to Marshall Fire disaster survivors and steps insured people can take to file claims for lost or damaged items.
“State law requires your insurance company to pay at least 30% of the contents of your home if you suffered a total loss of your primary residence. That will help people buy things as small as toothbrushes and toothpaste, shoes for your kids, and keeping receipts is critical. The small things add up and it’s important to show everything that needs to be replaced,” added Insurance Commissioner Mike Conway.
Coloradans can give the Division of Insurance a call at 303-894-7490 and visit the website at doi.colorado.gov to learn more about the claims process.
The Department of Local Affairs in coordination with the Disaster Housing Task Force will play a pivotal role in assessing the immediate and long-term housing needs of people impacted by the fire. In collaboration with the Colorado Resiliency Office, the agency will also focus on imagining how communities can prevent and reduce future economic costs following disasters.
Impacted business owners and homeowners can apply for low-interest loans through Small Business Administration’s Disaster Assistance program at sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance.
For more information on federal disaster assistance and access to application materials, visit disasterassistance.gov.