WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Senators John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet, and U.S. Representative Joe Neguse announced that throughout Fiscal Year 2023, the Department of the Interior has invested over $9.3 million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding to advance wildfire resilience work and support fuels management projects in Colorado. The projects, which took place on 31,958 acres of land across the state, included improvements for infrastructure resilience, wildfire prevention, and forest health, as well as investments in fuels management, post-fire restoration, and fire science.
“From the 35,000 Coloradans displaced by the 2021 Marshall Fire to the more than 200,000 acres of land ravaged by the 2020 Cameron Peak Fire, Coloradans are living the climate crisis today. These Bipartisan Infrastructure Law investments protect us, our homes, and the environment,” said Hickenlooper.
“As Coloradans face longer and more extreme wildfire seasons, we need to do more to protect homes and restore our forests. This funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help safeguard communities in Colorado and reduce severe wildfire risk, but there’s still more to do to match our efforts to the scale of the challenge,” said Bennet.
“Colorado has experienced numerous devastating wildfires over the past several years, including the East Troublesome, Cameron Peak, and Marshall Fires which hit communities in the 2nd District. I am heartened to see the investments made possible by the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to assist our communities and continue to deliver for the people of our great state,” said Neguse. “The projects supported by this funding are critical components of our work to reduce wildfire risk, support recovering communities, and to mitigate the impacts of future events for households across the state.”
The funding announced last week is part of $468 million allocated by the Department earlier this year to reduce wildfire risk, mitigate impacts and rehabilitate burned areas across the country.
“As wildfire seasons become longer, more intense and more dangerous, investments from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda are helping provide for a more strategic approach to wildland fire management and mitigation, greater support of wildland firefighters, and much-needed equipment and preparedness methods,” said Secretary Deb Haaland.