The Colorado Congressional Delegation welcomed the announcement today that President Obama has declared a federal disaster designation for the Royal Gorge fire area to make additional federal assistance available for recovery and mitigation in affected areas.
Earlier this month, U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall and U.S. Representatives Diana DeGette, Jared Polis, Scott Tipton, Cory Gardner, Doug Lamborn, Mike Coffman, and Ed Perlmutter urged President Obama to expedite and approve a request from Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper to expedite federal assistance for victims of this summer's wildfires, and specifically asked for approval for a disaster declaration for the Royal Gorge fire.
The delegation issued a joint statement:
"Colorado is once again dealing with the aftermath of major wildfires. We're pleased the Administration has recognized the severity of these tragedies and the enormous amount of time, money, and resources required to heal and rebuild. The Royal Gorge region will benefit immensely from these additional resources, and we will continue to advocate for other areas of the state that have suffered similar devastation of wildfire including the Black Forest region. Collaboration between our offices, federal agencies, and local officials will be essential to ensure we are supporting these communities, helping them recover, and developing methods for future mitigation and prevention."
The disaster declaration will supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by the Royal Gorge Fire during the period of June 11-16, 2013. Federal funding is available for Disaster Unemployment Assistance for affected individuals in Fremont County. Federal funding also is available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the Royal Gorge Fire in Fremont County. Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.