Bidens arrive in Colorado to tour damage from massive wildfire

The president is ready to deliver a speech on his administration’s response to the 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 shortly after 4 p.m. ET on Friday.

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

The fast-spreading fire burned more than 6,000 acres and destroyed nearly 1,000 homes, authorities say. Several inches of snow helped put out the flames, but also left many without power. Two people remain missing and Boulder County investigators have found partial human remains.

The investigation into how the fire started is 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 clean up debris and develop a housing strategy for immediate needs. and long term.

Biden has spoken repeatedly about how the climate crisis is driving a greater threat of wildfires and is responsible for the increase in extreme weather events in recent years.

In the fall, Biden traveled to Idaho and California to inspect the damage from wildfires. The president said recent extreme weather events are costing the United States billions of dollars each year and championed the need for 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 more to firefighters, expanding seasonal hiring, adding “surge capacity” by training and equipping additional personnel, and strengthening fire detection resources. He said the administration would take advantage of satellites and emerging technologies to quickly detect new fires.

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