Biden Consoles Residents in Fire-Ravaged Colorado

The president said the devastation caused by natural disasters rooted in climate change was “a blinking ‘code red’ for our nation.”

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Bidens Speak to Victims of the Colorado Wildfires

President Biden and Jill Biden, the first lady, visited neighborhoods that were devastated by the fast-moving fires in Louisville, Colo.

“Jill and I and my team have surveyed the damage of the Marshall fire, and it’s as devastating as it looks on television and as devastating as the many environmental crises I’ve seen in the last year, 2021. And 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. Fire, I think, is the most frightening of all dilemmas.” “And I’d like to say on a personal note, the governor told me how many of you lost your family pet and you know, they’re members of the family too. So I want to just say how terribly sorry we are for the loss of your pets because we’re animal people, so, you know, we know what a tough loss that is. So we know you’re strong. You will rebuild and and we’re going to help.”

By Zolan Kanno-Youngs

WASHINGTON — President Biden flew to Colorado on Friday to console residents suffering from swift wildfires that destroyed nearly 1,000 homes, while pointing to the devastation as evidence of the urgent need to address natural disasters rooted in the global climate crisis.

Almost as soon as he arrived in the mountain-flanked town of Louisville, Mr. Biden assumed one of the more practiced roles of his presidency as he comforted families during his tour of charred homes, scorched trees and scalded cars, all blanketed in snow. The president’s visit came after catastrophic flames — fueled by powerful winds, parched grasses and unusually dry and warm conditions — quickly swept into the suburbs between Denver and Boulder last month.

“It’s as devastating as it looks on television,” Mr. Biden said. “As devastating as the many environmental crises I’ve seen in the last year.”

The president has made several other trips since taking office to empathize with Americans suffering disasters, including tornadoes in Kentucky, blackouts in Texas and a building collapse in Florida, often winning praise from local officials for his willingness to consistently deploy federal resources — a contrast from his predecessor. This week, Mr. Biden approved a disaster declaration in Boulder County, freeing up federal funds for temporary housing, home repairs and loans.

The recovery “is going to take a long time — I’m not going to kid you,” Mr. Biden said on Friday. “But we’re going to stay with you as long as it takes.”

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