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FEMA provides additional $2.5M for electrical repairs following East Troublesome Fire

Troublesome Fire © 2020 lightboximages.com 0094.JPG
Posted at 3:06 PM, Mar 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-15 17:07:45-04

DENVER — The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded almost $2.5 million to an electric provider to replace equipment destroyed by the East Troublesome Fire in 2020.

When the East Troublesome Fire burned through Grand County and Larimer County, it heavily damaged portions of the power distribution system for Mountain Parks Electric, a not-for-profit electric cooperative.

In about 36 hours in October 2020, the fire grew from 19,000 acres to 170,000 a record for rapid-fire expansion in Colorado — and forced the evacuation of more than 35,000 people. It also killed two residents. The blaze eventually peaked at 193,812 acres before it was fully contained in late November. In its wake, it left 580 destroyed structures, 366 of which were residential.

READ MORE: The untold stories of resilience and recovery in Grand Lake after the East Troublesome Fire

The $2.45-million FEMA grant announced Tuesday will help Mountain Parks Electric cover the cost of replacing 195 utility poles, about 200,000 feet of conductor line, and six transformers, FEMA said, adding that it will provide 75% of the cost share for this recovery project.

As of Tuesday, FEMA had approved more than $30.3 million in Public Assistance grant funds for recovery efforts in the wake of the East Troublesome Fire and Cameron Peak Fire, the latter of which burned in Larimer and Jackson Counties. They grew to become the two largest wildfires in recorded state history.

READ MORE: Burn scars: A historic fire and a Colorado mountain community in healing

The funds are provided under the major disaster declaration for Colorado that Former President Donald Trump declared on Jan. 15, 2021 for the two fires.

By September, FEMA approved more than $3 million to help remove tree hazards and wildfire debris along public roads in Larimer County in a project that was estimated to cost $4.09 million. A couple months later, FEMA awarded $2.6 million to cover a bulk of the firefighting costs incurred by local and state agencies on the Cameron Peak Fire.

READ MORE: All Denver7 coverage on Colorado's wildfires