DENVER — Federal aid is coming to Colorado after President Joe Biden approved a disaster declaration for the most devastating wildfire in state history.
The federal disaster declaration was approved on Jan. 1, two days after the Marshall Fire began ravaging Boulder County communities. The fire destroyed at least 500 homes and structures, and the total loss could be more than 1,000 homes, according to Gov. Jared Polis.
The declaration frees up federal aid, including from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), for Colorado.
Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated areas can begin applying for assistance by registering online or calling 1-800-621- 3362.
Assistance can include grants for temporary housing, home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs.
White House officials said Biden and Polis had been in contact since the fire sparked Thursday morning.
“Biden assured [Polis] that every effort will be made to provide immediate help to people in the impacted communities,” the White House said Friday on Twitter. “FEMA is already working with their counterparts in Colorado to surge assistance.”
FEMA will foot the bill for up to 75% of eligible firefighting costs the state incurs while putting the fire out. Those funds come out of a federal grant – Fire Management Assistance Grants – that can also pay to mitigate future threats such as burn scar flooding.
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