Costs of local wildfires hitting millions

Posted at 6:45 PM, Jul 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-02 20:45:55-04

As of Monday, the cost of the Spring Creek Fire burning in Huerfano and Costilla counties reached $4.1 million. 

For the High Chateau Fire burning in Teller county, the cost is just a little more than $600,085. 

When natural disaster strikes, funding understandably becomes a concern of those at the forefront. 

Over the last several years, state lawmakers have learned how to better budget for these disasters- especially after wildfires like the Lower North Fork Fire and Waldo Canyon in 2012. 

Senator Kent Lambert (R-Colorado Springs) sits on the Joint Budget Committee and says in the last 6 years or so the state’s worked to get a substantial amount of funds in reserve to fund these types of disasters. 

According to Lambert, about $60-70 million is in a reserve fund for these fires. 

Still, after structural changes made by the legislature over the years, the Governor has authority when it comes to allocating funding for these disasters. 

Previously, the Governor needed to ask the state legislature to allocate funds to emergencies, but as it stands now, the Governor can allocate the funds and then ask the representatives and senators to appropriate accordingly.