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.”
The fire funding fix @SenatorBennet and I secured in 2018 to end fire borrowing has drastically improved wildfire response. Now instead of making decisions based on resources available, firefighters can respond knowing they will have the support they need.https://t.co/3wCzD3KFYp
— Cory Gardner (@SenCoryGardner) August 28, 2020
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.
I joined @WhiteRiverNews and @BLM_CO for an update on the Grizzly Creek Fire and the long-term implications the fire will have on the community and economy. We must work together to ensure the resiliency of our communities in order to move forward following this wildfire. pic.twitter.com/Z7dMavBhY1
— Cory Gardner (@SenCoryGardner) August 31, 2020