December 23, 2020

Congressman Neguse, Bipartisan Colorado Delegation Urge Expedited Approval of Major Disaster Declaration for Wildfire Recovery

Washington D.C.—Today, Congressman Joe Neguse and the entire bipartisan Colorado delegation sent a letter to President Donald Trump urging swift support for Governor Polis’s request to designate Colorado’s wildfires as a Major Disaster to bring in needed recovery funds for the state.  

“Devastating wildfires have occurred across our state, forcing evacuations, threatening air and water quality, and destroying homes and businesses. Given the historic nature of these fires and their devastating impact on our communities, we urge you to expedite the approval process so that Coloradans have access to the resources they need to respond and recover quickly,” reads the letter from the delegation. “The unprecedented nature of this emergency merits a swift and comprehensive response. Given the rapid escalation and urgent need for support, we request an expeditious approval of the Governor’s Major Disaster declaration request." 

Three of the state’s five largest fires have occurred in 2020. The East Troublesome fire grew sixfold in size in a matter of 24 hours and is the second-largest fire in state history. The Cameron Peak fire, which began burning in August, grew to over 200,000 acres – the largest fire in Colorado history. Additionally, the Grizzley Creek fire closed I-70, one of Colorado’s major transportation corridors. These fires, in addition to the Middle Fork fire, Williams Fork fire, the Lefthand Canyon fire, and the Calwood Fire, caused thousands of Coloradans to evacuate and significant infrastructure damage.

Read the letter here. 

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Donald J. Trump 
President of the United States 
The White House 
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. 
Washington, D.C. 20500

 

December 23, 2020

 

Dear Mr. President, 

We write in strong support of Governor Polis’ request for an expedited Major Disaster declaration for the State of Colorado. Devastating wildfires have occurred across our state, forcing evacuations, threatening air and water quality, and destroying homes and businesses. Given the historic nature of these fires and their devastating impact on our communities, we urge you to expedite the approval process so that Coloradans have access to the resources they need to respond and recover quickly. 

An unusual weather event combined with extreme drought led to the catastrophic growth of several fires throughout the state. Three of the state’s five largest fires have occurred in 2020. The East Troublesome fire grew sixfold in size in a matter of 24 hours and is the second-largest fire in state history. The Cameron Peak fire, which began burning in August, grew to over 200,000 acres – the largest fire in Colorado history. Additionally, the Grizzley Creek fire closed I-70, one of our state’s major transportation corridors. These fires, in addition to the Middle Fork fire, Williams Fork fire, the Lefthand Canyon fire, and the Calwood Fire, caused thousands of Coloradans to evacuate and significant infrastructure damage. 

These late-season fires are not normal. Typically, October marks the beginning of winter weather patterns in Colorado. As fire seasons grow longer, the availability of resources to our local communities gets stretched thinner. The unprecedented nature of this emergency merits a swift and comprehensive response. Given the rapid escalation and urgent need for support, we request an expeditious approval of the Governor’s Major Disaster declaration request. 

Thank you for your support in this urgent matter. 

Sincerely, 

Congressman Joe Neguse

Senator Michael Bennet

Senator Cory Gardner

Congresswoman Diana DeGette 

Congressman Ken Buck

Congressman Doug Lamborn

Congressman Jason Crow 

Congressman Ed Perlmutter

Congressman Scott Tipton