Jan 8, 2022 - Energy & Environment

Bidens visit Colorado neighborhoods ravaged by Marshall Fire

Photo of Joe and Jill Biden shaking hands and speaking with local residents as they stand in front of rubble
President Biden and first lady Jill Biden meet with local residents as they tour a neighborhood destroyed by the Marshall Fire in Louisville, Colo., on Jan. 7. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden on Friday traveled to Boulder County, Colorado, to tour the area razed by last week's firestorm and speak with residents who lost their homes.

Why it matters: The rapidly-moving flames of the Marshall Fire destroyed nearly 1,000 homes and businesses and led to evacuation orders that impacted over 30,000 people.

Details: The Bidens surveyed the region in a helicopter tour before touring local neighborhoods on foot, according to White House pool reports.

  • They spoke with a number of families in front of their ravaged homes, as well as fire and rescue officials.
  • At one point, Biden embraced a man who, gesturing to his shorts, told him, "I’m not even properly dressed because this is all I have."

What he's saying: "I can’t imagine what it’s like to be here in this neighborhood and see winds whipping up to 100 miles an hour and see flames approaching," Biden said in remarks to the community.

  • "The situation is a blinking code red for our nation," he said, adding that extreme climate conditions such as unusually high winds helped create a "tinder box."
  • "We can’t ignore the reality that these fires are being supercharged, they’re being supercharged" by climate change, he noted.
  • Biden also referenced his Build Back Better agenda, which allocates money for wildfire preparedness, and told residents that "the federal government is not going to go away ... We're going to stay here as long as it takes."
  • "The whole nation is with you," Biden said. "It's going to be better."

Go deeper: How to help victims of the Boulder Marshall Fire

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