Biden to visit Colorado Friday to survey fire aftermath

(The Center Square) – President Joe Biden is set to visit Colorado on Friday to tour the damage caused by fires that ripped through Boulder County last week.

The Marshall fire began on Dec. 30 and quickly spread across the southeastern part of the county due to winds of over 100 miles per hour.

Thousands of residents were forced to evacuate the towns of Superior, Louisville, and parts of Broomfield as approximately 1,000 homes were lost, according to the Boulder Office of Emergency Management.

Officials said Monday an investigation aided by federal agencies is ongoing but could take weeks to complete.

Biden, who approved a federal disaster declaration for the state on Saturday, will be accompanied by U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Colo., and Gov. Jared Polis when he visits on Friday.

“This week, many in the Boulder County community – throughout Superior and Louisville – are beginning the long road to recovery in the wake of the unprecedented and terrible Marshall Fire,” Neguse said in a statement. “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.”

Polis said on Wednesday that President Biden’s visit is welcomed so he can “see firsthand the devastation that Boulder County has experienced.”

“We look forward to conveying to the president the needs of the community,” he added.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has also approved Disaster Unemployment Assistance for those affected by the fires, which will pay out benefits for up to 26 weeks.

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