FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Last week's mudslides that closed Colorado Highway 14 through the Poudre Canyon are evidence that the impacts of last year's Cameron Peak Fire will be long lasting.
Nowhere is that damage more critical than the Poudre and Big Thompson watersheds. Both were heavily damaged by the Cameron Peak and East Troublesome fires, the largest and second-largest wildfires, respectively, in Colorado history. Combined they scorched more than 400,000 acres.
In response to the devastation, the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado's NoCoFires Fund grant committee awarded $670,000 to three nonprofits working to mitigate damage to the watersheds through protecting the rivers' health, the area's water supply and public safety.
The Big Thompson Watershed Coalition, Coalition for the Poudre River Watershed and Wildlands Restoration Volunteers are leading work on the costly watershed recovery. Those three organizations are working closely with municipal, county, state and federal offices as well as other nonprofits and local water providers.
The grants will go toward additional staffing, materials and environmental restoration.
The NoCoFires Fund was started last year and with the help of other donations has raised nearly $750,000 to help the fire recovery effort.
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