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Polis declares state of emergency for Boulder fires

The governor said the declaration allows the state to access disaster emergency funds. FEMA also authorized the use of federal funds to help with firefighting costs.

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — Gov. Jared Polis declared a state of emergency on Thursday due to the Marshall Fire in Boulder County. 

"The declaration allows the state to access disaster emergency funds to support the emergency response efforts in Boulder and provide state resources including the use of the Colorado National Guard, Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control and activation of the State Emergency Operations Center," according to the statement.

Multiple grass fires broke out in high winds in Boulder County on Thursday morning and spread rapidly into populated areas. One of them, the Marshall Fire, has destroyed hundreds of homes and forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate. 

RELATED: WATCH LIVE: Entire towns of Superior and Louisville ordered to evacuate due to multiple grass fires

RELATED: List: Multiple evacuation centers set up for Boulder County residents

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said they have authorized the use of federal funds to help with firefighting costs. FEMA approved the state's request for a federal Fire Management Assistance Grant Thursday, after determining the fire threatened such destruction that it would constitute a major disaster.

The authorization makes FEMA funding available to pay 75% of the state’s eligible firefighting costs. While the grant does not provide assistance to individual home or business owners and does not cover other infrastructure damage caused by the fire, FEMA said additional federal assistance may be available upon request after damage assessments.

RELATED: Hundreds of homes destroyed in Boulder County fires

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