President Obama approves federal aid for Royal Gorge Fire victims, Black Forest

FREMONT COUNTY, Colo. - President Barack Obama has approved Colorado's request for federal disaster aid to support recovery efforts related to the June Royal Gorge Fire in Fremont County and the Black Forest Fire in El Paso County.  

The Federal Emergency Management Agency notified Gov. John Hickenlooper on Friday that Colorado’s request for a major disaster declaration for Royal Gorge Fire area was approved.

A similar request for the Black Forest Fire in El Paso County was also approved Friday.

"We are grateful for the federal support in the wake the Royal Gorge Fire and other fires this summer," Hickenlooper said in a statement. "This assistance will help Coloradans recover and begin to rebuild some of what was lost."

The disaster declaration triggers the release of federal funds to help individuals and communities.

Specifically, the federal government will provide assistance:

--For unemployment benefits and re-employment services to individuals who have become unemployed as a result of the major disaster and who are not eligible for regular state unemployment insurance.

--For emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities.

--For actions taken to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural hazards.

Coloradans interested in applying for assistance or receiving more information should contact the Colorado Office of Emergency Management at 720- 852-6600 or visit Coemergency.com.