Bidens arrive in Colorado to tour damage from massive wildfires

The president will deliver a speech on his administration’s response to recent wildfires in Louisville, Colorado, the White House says. The Bidens will also explore a neighborhood in the area affected by the Marshall Fire. He arrived in Denver just after 4 p.m. ET on Friday.

Biden has made federal funding available to support state and local recovery efforts, including grants for temporary housing and home repairs, as well as low-cost loans to cover uninsured losses. The president spoke to Colorado Governor Jared Polis, a Democrat, last Friday about giving federal aid.

The rapidly spreading fire has charred more than 6,000 acres and destroyed nearly 1,000 homes, authorities say. Several inches of snow helped extinguish the flames, but also cut off power for many. Two people are still missing and Boulder County investigators have found partial human remains.

The investigation into how the fire started is still ongoing, the sheriff said earlier this week.

Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Deanne Criswell told CNN over the weekend that federal teams focused on working with state and local officials to clean up debris and develop a housing strategy for both immediate and long-term needs.

Biden has repeatedly spoken out about how the climate crisis is creating an increased 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 investigate damage from wildfires. The president said recent extreme weather events cost America billions of dollars annually and called for large-scale investments to make the country’s infrastructure more resilient to these threats.

The president has announced new federal response plans, including paying firefighters more, expanding seasonal work, adding “peak capacity” by training and equipping additional personnel, and bolstering fire-detection assets. He said the government would use satellite and emerging technologies to quickly detect new fires.

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