U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner is touring the Western Slope and holding briefings with key officials on the devastating wildfires that continue to impact the region.

In Grand County where the Williams Fork fire has burned for two weeks, Gardner learned his legislative fix for fire funding allowed officials there to focus on fighting fires rather than juggling dollars in budgets.

“Now they don’t have to worry about it,” Gardner said. “They fight the fire. They were always going to fight the fire, but now they don’t have to make any decisions (based on resources). They know they have the resources.”

In Glenwood Springs, Gardner was briefed on the Grizzly Creek fire now about 73% contained after burning more than 32,000 acres.

Interstate 70 is open but drivers are still experiencing delays as crews work to repair utility lines.

The local economy had already taken a tremendous hit from all of Gov. Polis’s COVID-19 closures.

Losing critical access through Glenwood Canyon was devastating to the economy, costing nearly $1 million for every hour Interstate 70 was closed, Gardner said.