DENVER (AP) - President Barack Obama has issued a major disaster declaration for the Royal Gorge Fire, allowing for federal aid to help deal with its effects.
The declaration triggers unemployment benefits for Royal Gorge Bridge & Park employees and others who are out of work after the wildfire this summer and aren't eligible for regular state jobless benefits. The fire destroyed several structures in the park.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency said Friday that the federal government also will contribute funds for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities. It also will provide aid to help prevent future catastrophic wildfires.
Gov. John Hickenlooper's office says a request for a similar disaster declaration is pending for this summer's Black Forest Fire, which is the most destructive in state history.