Bidens arrive in Colorado to tour damage from massive wildfire

The President is set to deliver a speech on his administration’s response to recent wildfires while in Louisville, Colorado, the White House says. The Bidens will also tour a neighborhood in the area affected by the Marshall Fire. He arrived in Denver just after 4 p.m. ET Friday.

Biden has made federal funding available to assist state and local recovery efforts, which can also include grants for temporary housing and home repairs as well as low-cost loans to covered uninsured losses. The President spoke with Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat, last Friday about providing federal support.

The fast-spreading fire charred more than 6,000 acres and destroyed nearly 1,000 homes, authorities say. Several inches of snow helped put out the flames but also knocked out power for many. Two people remain missing, and Boulder County investigators have found partial human remains.

An investigation into how the fire started remains ongoing, the sheriff’s office said earlier this week.

Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Deanne Criswell told CNN over the weekend that federal teams were focused on working with state and local officials to clear debris and developing a housing strategy for immediate as well as long-term needs.

Biden has repeatedly spoken out about how the climate crisis is driving an increased threat from wildfires and is responsible for the rise in extreme weather events in recent years.

In the fall, Biden traveled to Idaho and California to survey wildfire damage. The President said recent extreme weather events are costing America billions of dollars each year and made the case for making large-scale investments to make the nation’s infrastructure more resilient to these threats.

The President has announced new federal response plans that include paying firefighters more, extending seasonal hiring, adding “surge capacity” by training and equipping additional personnel and bolstering fire detection resources. He said the administration would tap into satellite and emerging technologies to rapidly detect new fires.


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