Denver, CO -- At the request of the Colorado Office of Emergency Management, disaster assistance has been made available to help homeowners, renters and businesses in Jackson, Larimer and Weld counties recover from the effects of the Big Elk fire in Colorado, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today.
FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh said the assistance was approved based on a review of data gathered by federal and state disaster recovery officials. The counties were added for the aid under the major disaster declaration issued by President Bush on June 19.
"We remain committed to delivering assistance wherever it's needed and to making sure that every qualified individual and family receives the help they need to get back on the road to recovery," Allbaugh said.
The designation makes residents of these counties eligible for a wide range of programs. Disaster assistance can help with lodging expenses, disaster-related unemployment assistance, grants for serious needs and necessary expenses not met by other programs, and economic injury loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
"The excellent efforts of the firefighters prevented the loss of buildings in the Big Elk fire," said Federal Coordinating Officer Steve Emory. "However, even without burned buildings, the fire really hurt businesses in these counties. With our SBA and state unemployment office partners, we can help individuals and businesses that lost income whether they had physical damage or not."
People who were affected by the wildfires may register for disaster assistance
by calling toll-free 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Individuals who are speech
or hearing impaired should call TTY
1-800-462-7585 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays.
Areas included in the disaster declaration are Adams, Alamosa, Arapahoe, Archuleta, Baca, Bent, Boulder, Broomfield (city/county), Chaffee, Cheyenne, Clear Creek, Conejos, Costilla, Crowley, Custer, Delta, Denver (city/county), Dolores, Douglas, Eagle, Elbert, El Paso, Fremont, Garfield, Gilpin, Grand, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Huerfano, Jackson, Jefferson, Kiowa, Kit Carson, Lake, La Plata, Larimer, Las Animas, Lincoln, Mesa, Mineral, Moffat, Montezuma, Montrose, Otero, Ouray, Park, Pitkin, Pueblo, Rio Blanco, Rio Grande, Routt, Saguache, San Juan, San Miguel, Summit, Teller, Washington, Weld, and Yuma counties, and the Southern Ute and Ute Mountain reservations.