Hickenlooper asks for more federal aid for wildfires

Gov. John Hickenlooper is asking for more federal help for communities affected by wildfires this summer.

The governor sent a letter to President Barack Obama yesterday, seeking additional money.

 

“The current disaster declaration does not account for the significant infrastructure losses and repairs the communities directly incurred as a result of these wildfires,” the letter said. “We request that you expand the current major disaster declaration to include all public assistance categories and the Last Chance fire in Washington County and the Woodland Heights fire in Larimer County.”

 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s public assistance for disasters includes resources and reimbursement for debris removal, emergency protective measures, road systems, water control facilities, public buildings and equipment, public utilities and parks and recreation.

 

“In total, 19 Colorado wildfires were fought during the same incident period,” the letter said. “All of these fires stemmed from extreme weather and fire conditions that existed across the state. The statewide barrage of fires within such a short time period exceeded the state and local governments’ resources, ability to respond and capability to recover.”

 

On June 28, President Obama accepted the major disaster declaration request for the High Park and Waldo Canyon fires. The city said it anticipates about 75 percent of its fire expenses will be covered by FEMA.