The White House has accepted Colorado’s request for an expedited major disaster declaration. It will bring more federal assistance to counties impacted by the High Park and Waldo Canyon Fire.
The federal resources will provide for crisis counseling, disaster unemployment assistance, public assistance for emergency work and a hazard mitigation grant program.
“With this funding we will be able to provide much needed assistance to our communities affected by wildfires,” Governor John Hickenlooper said.
In addition, President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit Colorado Springs Friday afternoon.
Below is a release from the White House:
The President today declared a major disaster exists in the State of Colorado and ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by the High Park and Waldo Canyon Fires beginning on June 9, 2012, and continuing.
The President's action makes federal funding available to State and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency protective measures, including direct Federal assistance, for El Paso and Larimer Counties impacted by the High Park and Waldo Canyon Fires.
Federal funding is also available for Crisis Counseling and Disaster Unemployment Assistance for affected individuals in El Paso and Larimer Counties impacted by the High Park and Waldo Canyon Fires.
W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Michael F. Byrne as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected area.
FEMA said that damage surveys are continuing in other areas, and more counties and additional forms of assistance may be designated after the assessments are fully completed.