Mark Udall welcomed news today that President Obama expanded the major disaster declaration for Colorado, triggering the release of Hazard Mitigation funds. The state of Colorado, all local governments, Native American tribes and certain non-profit organizations are now eligible to apply for assistance to implement long-term hazard mitigation measures, such as fuels-reduction projects.
In addition, the Small Business Administration made a separate disaster declaration so that individuals and businesses in Larimer, El Paso and 12 surrounding counties are eligible for federally subsidized loans to repair or replace homes, personal property or businesses that sustained damages not covered by insurance.
"I am encouraged by the president's continued support of Colorado communities and individuals affected by the recent wildfires," Udall said. "These resources will continue to help the communities devastated by these blazes -- the top two most destructive fires in Colorado history -- and provide a foundation for their futures. This assistance will help Colorado rebuild and stay open for business. Our communities will rise up from the ashes of these wildfires."
Udall said he was disappointed FEMA declined Gov. John Hickenlooper's request for individual disaster assistance. Udall pledged to continue to help Coloradans and local communities leverage all available federal assistance to rebuild.
Udall has been a leading advocate of leveraging federal resources to rebuild communities throughout the state that were devastated by the extreme 2012 fire season. Earlier this month, Udall joined with the Colorado congressional delegation to request that FEMA expand the assistance available for Colorado wildfire areas in Larimer and Washington counties. Udall also has visited the High Park and Waldo Canyon burn areas earlier this year.