DENVER – President Joe Biden is in Colorado Friday to tour the damage left by the Marshall Fire and discuss federal support for the victims, according to Rep. Joe Neguse and the White House.
Neguse, the Democrat who represents the area that includes Superior and Louisville where the fire burned last Thursday, said he, the president and Gov. Jared Polis would tour the fire damage and talk about federal relief.
A news release from the White House confirmed President Biden and the First Lady would visit Boulder County before heading to Las Vegas for the late Sen. Harry Reid's memorial service.
The president is expected to arrive at Denver International Airport around 2:15 p.m., tour a neighborhood in Louisville and meet with victims of the fire before leaving the airport around 6:30 p.m., according to his public schedule.
He arrived in Colorado around 2:10 p.m. Watch live coverage in the player embedded below or by clicking here.
“We cannot expect our communities to bear the burden of this disaster on their own. We must bring the full force of the federal government to bear as our communities work to rebuild and recover,” Neguse said in a statement. “I’m deeply grateful to President Biden and his Administration for authorizing a swift Disaster Declaration this past weekend to begin the flow of federal funds to our community, and I look forward to hosting him on the ground on Friday to share firsthand the powerful stories of Boulder County’s resilience and strength.”
“We welcome a visit by the president to see firsthand the devastation that Boulder County has experienced,” Polis said of the president’s visit during a news conference Wednesday morning. “We look forward to conveying to the president the needs of the community both short-, medium- and long-term around housing and around rebuilding. And I think it’ll be valuable for him to see some of the impact firsthand.”
President Biden approved a Major Disaster Declaration on Dec. 31, which freed up fire recovery funds for victims to get temporary housing, recover home repair costs and low-cost loans for uninsured property, among other things.
The Marshall Fire destroyed or damaged more than 1,000 homes and businesses on Dec. 30 – fanned by extremely high winds and fueled by extreme drought conditions in southern Boulder County.
As of Tuesday, the Boulder County Wildfire Fund had received more than $12 million in donations from more than 43,000 people. Five million of those dollars have already been approved for disbursement.
The governor and other state officials are expected to further discuss the state response to the fire in a news conference scheduled for 10:15 a.m.