Washington, DC – Michael Bennet, U.S. Senator for Colorado, released the following statement on the Four Mile Canyon wildfire in Boulder County. Colorado received a fire management assistance grant from FEMA to manage and control the fire which threatens hundreds of homes and buildings.
“Our primary concern at this point needs to be the safety of all Coloradans living in the area near the fire, which has already destroyed homes in Boulder County,” said Bennet. “The FEMA assistance will help Colorado firefighters contain the wildfire, but we need to be doing more to prevent these disasters. Wildfires can be devastating to mountain communities, and Colorado’s first responders put their lives on the line to keep us safe. We can do more to protect our communities and our first responders by providing local and state agencies the resources they need to effectively create defensible space and prevent forest fires in the first place.”
The Governor has issued a state of emergency as crews are continuing to work to contain the fire, which has burned more than 7,100 acres of land and forced at least 3,500 people to evacuate their homes. It is still not known how many homes and buildings have been destroyed by this fire.
The wildfire is burning in areas affected by the bark beetle epidemic. Bennet helped secure additional funding to help address public safety concerns and forest health needs arising from the millions of acres of dead and dying trees from bark beetle infestations in the West. Along with Sen. Mark Udall, Bennet pushed to prioritize funding for wildfire prevention resources in Colorado, especially in mountain pine beetle afflicted regions.
Also, Bennet cosponsored the Federal Land Assistance, Management and Enhancement (FLAME) Act of 2009 and helped pass the provision to help the federal government pay for the worst wildfires each year.