Senator Fights For Colorado Wildfire Relief Funds

State and local leaders are fighting to give Colorado communities, like our own, what we need to recover from a destructive wildfire season.

The goal is to make sure that those affected by wildfires in our state, like the devastating Waldo Canyon Fire and the High Park fire, get the funding and resources needed to recover and to prevent future problems.

Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet paid a visit to Colorado Springs Friday. He toured what’s left of the Flying W. Ranch to highlight the need for federal resources to support recovery efforts.

Bennet says that millions of Emergency Watershed Protection Program funds were set aside for communities like ours, in a disaster recovery bill. But that money was taken out when the bill went to the House.

Bennet is fighting to get it back.

His goal is to re-convince Washington that there is a huge need in Colorado for the funds; not only to help with recovery efforts, but prevention, like mitigating future flooding.

"This $20 million we would be investing here now potentially saves us hundreds of millions of dollars, lives and personal property but if we don't invest it now the opportunity may be lost,” said U.S. Colorado Senator Bennet.

Senator Bennet has been fighting for the money for the past six months. He says local governments are pitching in funds, but can’t move forward until he says the political games in Washington stop, and approve what he calls “common sense funding”.

"Our local governments are expending resources to try and keep this from happening, and if there is even a case of why we have a United States of America it is so that we can respond when our friends and neighbors have a crisis and have an emergency and have a need,” said U.S. Colorado Senator Bennet.

The disaster recovery bill was changed after devastating Hurricane Sandy hit last October.

$20 Million was cut out that was meant to help support other disasters like the Colorado wildfires.