Colorado Raids Insurance Fund to Fight Second Wildfire

September 15, 2010

Colorado is freeing up more money to help pay for fighting the wildfire burning near Loveland, the second major wildfire to hit the state in a week.

An executive order issued Sept. 13 provides up to $3 million for the latest fire. However, after spending $5.2 million on the fire near Boulder, the state’s emergency fund only had $200,000 left in it. So Gov. Bill Ritter has taken $2.9 million from the Major Medical Insurance Fund to shore up the Disaster Emergency Fund.

If all the money is spent, the latest move will leave just $100,000 in the emergency fund. However, the state is eligible to recoup 75 percent of firefighting costs from the federal government.

The Boulder fire has cost $8.3 million to fight but some of that was spent by the federal government.

According to Ritter’s executive order, The funds shall be used primarily to pay for resources to fight the Reservoir Road Fire. These funds may also be used to pay for resources as requested by Larimer County, or appropriate state agencies as approved by the Director of the Division of Emergency Management to assist with government costs incurred during the current disaster emergency by government entities, including costs incurred by nonprofits on behalf of government entities.

The Flatiron Reservoir fire broke out on Sept. 12, and destroyed six structures and has incurred $1 million in claims to date, according to the National Interagency Coordination Center.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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