Biden approves Colorado disaster declaration as wildfires destroy homes
President Biden approved a Colorado disaster declaration early Saturday, ordering federal aid to be made available to those impacted by wildfires that officials fear have so far destroyed more than 500 homes in the Denver suburbs.
The aid may include federal grants for temporary housing and repairs and loans to cover uninsured property, according to a statement by the White House.
The White House also noted that federal funding is available for “hazard mitigation measures statewide” along with money for state government, some local government and private nonprofits doing emergency work in Boulder County.
The disaster declaration approval comes days after wildfires ripped through suburbs northwest of Denver, forcing hundreds of evacuations just before the new year. Officials said seven people have been injured. No deaths have been reported, according to The Associated Press.
The AP noted that the area had not received much snow so far this winter and that the fall had been especially dry, adding that Boulder County had not received significant rainfall since midsummer. Authorities are still determining the cause of the fire, which comes at an unusual time late in the year.
Officials estimate that more than 500 homes have likely been destroyed, adding that the number could go up to 1,000.
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) said he visited the impacted areas on Friday.
“This is a tragedy and the emergency is not over,” Polis tweeted.
This morning I’m joined by our emergency management experts to inspect the damage caused by the Marshall and Middle Fork fires. This is a tragedy and the emergency is not over. We will work together to support Coloradans affected by this devastating fire #coloradostrong pic.twitter.com/fIXdeEl7er
— Governor Jared Polis (@GovofCO) December 31, 2021
–Updated on Jan. 2 at 6:56 a.m.
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