U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse, Gov. Jared Polis hosting wildfire recovery listening session

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U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse and other lawmakers are hosting a wildfire recovery listening session on Thursday and inviting attendees to share their perspectives and feedback after a historic Colorado wildfire season.

The virtual session will include a panel discussion with Neguse, Gov. Jared Polis, and Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper as well as an open forum for Coloradans to share feedback, challenges and experiences from this wildfire season.

The session will take place from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday. Coloradans can register to attend the session at Neguse2021.com.

Three of the state’s five biggest wildfires happened in 2020, and the Cameron Peak Fire in the Larimer County area was the biggest fire on record in Colorado.

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“As our district and our state experienced multiple record-breaking wildfires this season, we’ve worked closely with firefighters and emergency management officials on the ground to bring in needed federal resources and problem solve where we could,” Neguse said in a news release. “After conversations with our local officials, we introduced the Wildfire Recovery Act to assist our local communities in their recovery efforts. Hearing from constituents has been invaluable as we work to craft legislative solutions and address future fires of this scale.”

Neguse recently announced plans to create a bipartisan wildfire caucus to focus on wildfire mitigation and recovery efforts. Co-led by Republican Rep. John Curtis of Utah, the caucus will require equal participation from both parties. Its members will advocate for wildfire-related programs, including funding for disaster relief, prevention and mitigation; share federal relief programs and resources with communities before, during and after wildfire season; and highlight balanced and bipartisan science-based wildfire management and mitigation proposals in Congress.

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“We hope this wildfire listening session will contribute to future legislative proposals, and identify issues we can work on through the Bipartisan Wildfire Caucus,” Neguse said in a news release. “We will utilize every mechanism at our disposal to provide needed resources to protect our communities from catastrophic fires.” 

Jacy Marmaduke covers government accountability for the Coloradoan. Follow her on Twitter @jacymarmaduke. Support her work and that of other Coloradoan journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today.