Dec 31, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Polis: Biden to expedite major disaster declaration for Colorado fire

Photo by Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) said Friday that President Biden would offer an expedited major disaster declaration to help rebuild and provide aid to those that lost their homes in the fast-moving Marshall Fire, which consumed around 1,600 acres and destroyed more than 500 homes.

The big picture: It's the most destructive fire in state history.

  • The rapidly-moving flames led to evacuation orders covering more than 30,000 people in Superior, Louisville and portions of other communities.

Polis said that so far, there has been no recorded loss of life.

  • "This is our community, and to watch it burn so quickly, so unexpectedly, is something that I think we're all just struggling to believe and understand," Polis said. 
  • "This played out with so 105-mile-per-hour winds over the course of half a day," he added.

Catch up fast: High winds helped spread the fire, with gusts that peaked as high as 110-115 miles per hour.

  • Officials say downed power lines were the likely cause, per the Denver Post. However, the disaster was probably made worse by the effects of climate change, including extremely dry conditions.
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency said Thursday that it has authorized federal funds to help with firefighting costs.

Go deeper: Climate changes linked to Colorado's fire disaster

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