Governor John Hickenlooper signs executive orders authorizing emergency firefighting funds

DENVER - Three executive orders signed by Governor John Hickenlooper Wednesday authorize a combined $10.15 million to help pay for the costs of fighting the Black Forest, Royal Gorge and Klikus fires.

The executive orders were announced at 4:25 p.m. Wednesday, just over a day after the three fires ignited. At the time the orders were signed, the Black Forest Fire in El Paso County was estimated at 8,000 acres, the Royal Gorge Fire in Fremont County was estimated at 3,000 acres and the Klikus fire in Huerfano County was estimated at 60 acres.

All three of those fires have caused evacuations.

The biggest of the fires, the Black Forest Fire, is given $5.5 million from the Disaster Emergency Fund. The Royal Gorge Fire is ordered to receive $4.5 million and $150,000 is allocated for the Klikus Fire. In each case, the money is earmarked to pay for the fire suppression, response and recovery efforts.

In addition to these funds, the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Tuesday authorized the use of federal money for battling the Royal Gorge and Black Forest Fires in Colorado.

The FEMA funding will cover 75 percent of the costs of the state's costs for "managing, mitigating and controlling" the fires, including equipment and supplies. The funding does not provide assistance to individual property owners and does not cover the cost of infrastructure damaged in the fire.

Fire Management Assistance Grants are provided through the President's Disaster Relief Fund.

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