DENVER (KDVR) — From tax relief to mental health resources, Gov. Jared Polis and several other government members have established assistance-based programs as part of the recovery efforts for those impacted by the Marshall Fire.
The fire that sparked on Dec. 30, 2021, burned more than 6,000 acres and destroyed nearly 1,000 structures in Superior, Louisville and unincorporated Boulder County. The cause of the blaze is still under investigation.
Thus far, the fire damaged or destroyed between $819 million and $1.6 billion worth of homes alone, not including the valuations of the businesses.
In the press conference, Polis addressed the array of needs victims are facing in the wake of the Marshall Fire.
“Too many Coloradans saw a lifetime of hard work reduced to memories — first homes, businesses, community gathering places,” said Polis. “That’s why our administration is focused on delivering helpful resources addressing a wide range of needs including re-housing homeowners and renters, providing mental and behavioral health services, and access to financial assistance.”
On Wednesday, the Colorado Department of Revenue announced the agency will offer relief on state-collected taxes for those affected by the Marshall Fire. The department says the tax relief measures will mirror the ones the IRS is taking.
A disaster declaration was issued by President Joe Biden for Colorado. The Federal Emergency Management Agency authorized funding through a federal fire management assistance grant.
Polis and Congressman Joe Neguse will welcome Biden to Colorado on Friday as they survey the burn area and discuss federal support for the community.
Aside from the physical challenges of rebuilding the Superior and Louisville communities, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is focusing on the mental health needs of those impacted. The CDPHE is creating the Colorado Spirit Marshall Fire Crisis Counseling Program that will provide outreach crisis counselors to the grieving community.
As of Tuesday afternoon, $14.6 million has been raised by more than 110,000 donors to several GoFundMe accounts, according to the company. And the Boulder County Wildfire Fund has raised over $12 million from over 43,000 donors.
Impacted business owners and homeowners can apply for low-interest loans through the Small Business Administration’s Disaster Assistance program at their website.
The press conference of Polis and his executive cabinet members can be viewed in the player above.