DENVER - President Barack Obama has issued major disaster declarations for the Royal Gorge and Black Forest wildfires, allowing for federal aid to help deal with their 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.
Similar aid is available for areas affected by the Black Forest Fire, which was the most destructive in state history, and to help with crisis counseling there.
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.