Biden Praises 'Courage' of Colorado Wildfire Victims President Joe Biden tours a neighborhood impacted by the recent wildfire in Louisville, Colorado, on Friday. (Susan Walsh/AP)
By Charles Kim | Saturday, 08 January 2022 09:29 AM
President Joe Biden visited Colorado Friday and praised the courage of victims during recent wildfires there.
"It's amazing, amazing what people do in crises, and my message to them and everyone impacted by this is that, you know, not only are you helping each other, but we're here with you," The Hill reported that Biden said Friday at Louisville Recreation & Senior Center in Louisville, Colorado. "You know what Jill and I noticed … the incredible courage and resolve that you all show. We got a chance to meet with scores of families in the neighborhoods across the street, many of which homes you all live in, and it's really amazing to see the courage."
According to the report, almost 1,000 homes burned to the ground in the Denver suburbs the end of December, killing at least one person.
Biden declared the fire zone a disaster area Saturday, making federal aid available to the victims as well as grants for temporary housing, repairs, and loans for those impacted.
"It's as devastating as it looks on television, as devastating as the many environmental crises I've seen in the last year in 2021. You know, we've had over $99 billion in loss in the last little over a year and you know, there's nothing so frightening in my view as a fire," Biden said. "I can't imagine what it's like to be here in this neighborhood and see winds whipping up to 100 miles an hour and see flames approaching."
Just two days after the fires ripped through the region, almost a foot of snow and frigid temperatures in the single digits moved in, hampering search and recovery efforts, The New York Times reported Jan. 1.
The snow and cold also burst water pipes causing water damage and straining resources already working on the fires.
Law enforcement is investigating the cause of the fires and are working on several "tips" and executing search warrants to get to the reason behind the disaster, the Times reported.
Biden also used the speech to note the severe weather changes and how that may have made the fires worse.
"We can't ignore the reality that these fires are being supercharged, they're being supercharged by change in the weather," he said.
Before speaking, Biden met with families impacted by the fire in Marshall.
"I'm not even properly dressed because this is all I have," the man said, pointing to his shorts.
"We definitely need help," the man's son told the president, The Hill reported.