USA: Gov. Bill Ritter yesterday issued an emergency disaster declaration for the Fourmile Fire in Boulder County, authorizing $5 million in state aid to help pay firefighting costs and directing the state to seek additional funds from the federal government if necessary.
Ritter signed the executive order and declared a state of emergency after touring the fire area yesterday afternoon. The fire had burned more than 7,100 acres as of yesterday evening. It has destroyed more than 90 structures, threatened 500 others and forced the evacuation of 1,000 homes and 3,500 residents.
As of yesterday evening, no portion of the fire was considered contained, though fire officials said they were making progress. Winds settled yesterday afternoon, allowing firefighters to make more progress.
Local crews exhausted their resources by yesterday afternoon, forcing local crews to turn over operations to federal officials.
Citizens wanting to donate to the rescue effort can contact:
Ą Mile High United Ways 2-1-1 hotline, which is supporting organizations like the Red Cross and Salvation Army; and
Ą The American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, 303-722-7474, www.northerncolorado.redcross.org.
Meanwhile, the Red Cross switched its shelter location last night from the University of Colorado Coors Event Center to the YMCA of Boulder Valley, 2850 Mapleton Ave. in Boulder.
The Boulder Valley School District announced yesterday afternoon that it will operate an assistance center for BVSD families and staff impacted by the Fourmile Canyon wildfire. The assistance center will be open from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. beginning today through Friday. It will be held in the Board Meeting Room of the BVSD Education Center, 6500 E. Arapahoe Road in east Boulder.
BVSD also announced that Nederland Elementary and Nederland Middle/Senior High schools will open today on their regular schedule, while Gold Hill and Jamestown elementary schools will remain closed Wednesday due to the ongoing fire. All mountain bus routes including those running from the mountain areas into Boulder will run on their normal schedule Wednesday except in the evacuation area established by firefighters and law enforcement. Visit BVSD.org for more school information.
Also, Boulder City Manager Jane Brautigam ordered the closure of Boulder Reservoir to the public starting at 5 p.m. yesterday. The reservoir will be closed until further notice. The city property will be used to shelter firefighters who are working the Fourmile Canyon wildfire.
And the U.S. Postal Service announced that mail pick-up for those affected residents will be available at their local Post Office. Most of the evacuated wildfire postal customers affected live in northwest Boulder delivery ZIP Code 80302 and Jamestown delivery ZIP Code 80455. Those evacuated residents with Boulder delivery ZIP Code 80302 can pick up their mail at the Boulder Main Post Office, 1905 15th St. in downtown Boulder. Its customer service hours are 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.
The American Humane Associations Red Star Animal Emergency Services, based in Denver, has deployed to assist Boulder County Animal Control with evacuating animals that have been left behind by their owners in the Sugarloaf Mountain area. American Humane Associations Red Star Animal Emergency Services team deployed to Boulder yesterday afternoon at the request of Boulder County Animal Control. The team will assist the community in rescuing, caring for and sheltering pets that are hurt, lost or left behind during evacuations. The team plans to assist as long as needed. For more information on Red Star Animal Emergency Services, visit www.americanhumane.org/redstar.
Also, Farmers Insurance has begun assisting customers in the greater Boulder area impacted by the Four Mile wildfire that has forced the evacuation of 3,500 nearby residents. Farmers Insurance customers with damage should immediately contact their agent or call Farmers 24-hour-claims hotline: HelpPoint, 1-800-435-7764. Spanish-language claims assistance is available to Farmers customers by calling 1-877-RECLAMO (1-877-732-5266). Foremost Insurance customers can call: 1-800-527-3907.
And the Westin Westminster is offering a special rate of $99 per night for people who have had to evacuate their homes due to the Fourmile Fire. To book, call the hotel directly at 303-410-5000 and mention the Boulder Fire rate. Offer is valid through Saturday.