Although it seems like years have passed since the front range was blanketed in smoke from the East Troublesome Fire and the Cameron Peak Fire, recovery efforts are still ongoing in Colorado, and now the state is going to get some federal help to do so.

On Friday, Jan. 15, President Donald Trump declared the Colorado wildfires of September and November a major disaster, releasing funds to the state to aid in recovery efforts. According to The Denver Channel, the money will go towards state, tribal and some local governments, as well as a few nonprofit organizations. Funds will also be available to the state to mitigate the impact the fires made across the state, including the harm done to water and air quality.

After the fires were finally quenched around the beginning of November, the Denver Channel reported more than 800 structures were destroyed, and Larimer County reports that the area suffered a $6 million market loss.

Considering these damages, Gov. Jared Polis filed his request for relief on Dec. 23, 2020. His request was supported by Congressman Joe Neguse, who penned a letter with bipartisan support urging the release of funding.

“This is welcomed relief from the federal government at a time when Coloradans and our communities impacted by these devastating wildfires need it,” Governor Polis said in regards to the announcement. “I’m thankful to Colorado’s federal delegation including Congressman Neguse, first responders, local partners for their collaboration and efforts to respond to these wildfires and to secure these resources and look forward to building back stronger than before.”

As the federal government delegates this funding, Congressman Neguse promised to work with firefighters and local and state emergency officials to recover and prepare for the next wildfire season that rolls around.

As of this writing, Boulder County’s request for aid due to the Calwood Fire is still pending.

2020 Cameron Peak Fire