DENVER (AP/KDVR) — Federal officials said Colorado will get nearly $10 million from the federal government to combat abandoned coal mine fires.
The decision announced Monday comes after authorities said they are investigating abandoned coal seams as a possible cause of the December fire that burned more than 1,100 homes and businesses in Boulder County.
There are approximately 1,736 known abandoned coal mines in the state, according to the Colorado Underground Coal Mine Fires 2018 Inventory Report. But the investigation is also looking at power lines, human activity and other possibilities.
“There are some known coal mines or seams in the area,” Seth Mckinney, fire management officer with the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, said.
There are two known coal mine fires in Boulder County. One is the Lewis Mine, which is one mile south of Boulder on the northeast corner of the intersection of Marshall Road and Cherryvale Road. The other is the Marshall Mine, which is located at the southeast corner of the intersection of Highway 93 and Marshall Road.
Department of Interior officials said the funds are part of the federal government’s plan to put $11.3 billion toward reclaiming and cleaning up abandoned mine lands over the next 15 years.