January 17, 2022

President Biden in Colorado to tour Marshall Fire damage, meet with survivors

The president will tour damage in Louisville and then meet with survivors before delivering remarks about the federal response to the fire.

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — President Joe Biden is visiting Colorado on Friday to tour the Marshall Fire damage in Boulder County, according to the office of U.S. Rep Joe Neguse.

Biden is joined by Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D), Neguse (D-Colorado), Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colorado) and Sen. John Hickenlooper on Friday’s tour. 

The president arrived in Colorado on Air Force One shortly after 2 p.m. and then traveled to Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (RMMA) onboard Marine One.

Once in the area, the officials, also including First Lady Jill Biden, will tour an area of Louisville that was damaged by the Marshall Fire. Following the tour of the damage, the president will meet with survivors at the Louisville Recreation & Senior Center and deliver a brief remark about the federal response to the fire.

“This week, many in the Boulder County community – throughout Superior and Louisville – are beginning the long road to recovery in the wake of the unprecedented and terrible Marshall Fire,” Neguse said in a statement.

“We cannot expect our communities to bear the burden of this disaster on their own,” he said. “We must bring the full force of the federal government to bear as our communities work to rebuild and recover. I’m deeply grateful to President Biden and his administration for authorizing a swift disaster declaration this past weekend to begin the flow of federal funds to our community, and I look forward to hosting him on the ground on Friday to share firsthand the powerful stories of Boulder County’s resilience and strength.”

RELATED: $12 million donated to Boulder County Wildfire Fund

The Community Foundation of Boulder County said Tuesday it has approved a grant to begin immediately dispersing $5 million in direct aid to those impacted by the Marshall Fire last week. That is just a portion of the $12 million donated to the wildfire relief fund.

Meanwhile, the investigation into the cause and origin of the fire could take weeks or months, officials said at a news conference Monday.

Two people were missing, 1,084 structures were destroyed. That includes 550 in Louisville, 378 in Superior, and 156 in unincorporated Boulder County.

The fire, which started Dec. 30, damaged 149 structures and burned 6,026 acres. The perimeter of the fire is 100% contained.

Days after flames and smoke were seen emanating from what might be the source of the wildfire, investigators continue to eye property tied to a religious sect.

Members of the global religious group live just south of the city near Highway 93 and Marshall Road, where smoke and flames were captured on witness video mid-morning last Thursday.

This week, Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle acknowledged the group’s land in this location is tied to the investigation and stressed it could take weeks or months to find an official cause of the fire.

So far, nobody has been charged or accused.

Twelve Tribes is a religious sect with communities from Japan to Boulder that operates more than 20 Yellow Deli shops, including a location on Pearl Street in the city. The group says it tries to live a lifestyle reflective of the early Christian church.

RELATED: Religious group’s land tied to Marshall Fire investigation, sheriff says

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