East Peak firefighting gets financial help from state, feds

DENVER - Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper declared a disaster emergency related to the East Peak Fire on Friday.

The move transfers $3 million from the state's Disaster Emergency Fund to pay for fire suppression, response and recovery efforts related to the fire that is burning in Huerfano and Las Animas counties.

"On June 19, 2013, the East Peak Fire was reported to state authorities near the Boy Scout Ranch in the Spanish Peaks area of Huerfano County,"  the governor's order said. "This wind-driven fire was quickly growing in size and intensity, prompting the mandatory evacuation of the Boy Scout Ranch and area homes. All available firefighting resources were committed to firefighting and structural protection."

The news came shortly after the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s announcement that it had authorized the use of federal resources to help with firefighting costs for the East Park Fire. The funds come in the form of a Fire Management Assistance Grant, which the state requested.

The authorization makes FEMA funding available to pay 75 percent of the state’s eligible firefighting costs.

"Our firefighters and first responders need all the resources they can get at this critical time. This federal grant will help support their efforts battling this fire," said U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.).

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