Air Force One parked at Denver International Airport Friday as Pres. Joe Biden tours Marshall Fire disaster sites in Boulder County. Lucas High/BizWest.

Biden, Colorado leaders tour Marshall Fire damage in Boulder County

DENVER — Against a backdrop of crystal clear, baby blue skies — a cruel contrast to the smokey air that blanketed the Front Range just eight days before — President Joe Biden touched down Friday afternoon at the Denver International Airport en route to tour the devastation that the Marshall Fire wrought on Boulder County.

The president and First Lady Jill Biden exited Air Force One just after 2 p.m. trailed by Colorado elected officials including Rep. Joe Neguse and U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet. He was greeted on the ground by the likes of Gov. Jared Polis, Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera and Colo. Sen. Leroy Garcia before quickly choppering about Marine One to Louisville. 

Pres. Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden depart Air Force One en route to Boulder County. Lucas High/BizWest.

In Boulder County, Biden and his retinue toured the destruction in Louisville’s Harper Lake neighborhood, one of the harder hit portions of the city. 

“I’m grateful that President Biden is coming to Colorado to survey the damage from the Marshall Fire and meet with those who have been affected,” Bennet said in a prepared statement released before the president’s arrival. “Coloradans are resilient, and with the full support of the federal government and everyone working together, I know we will build back stronger than before.”

Federal leaders met with families who lost their homes along with Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle and other local officials and first responders before continuing to the Louisville Recreation and Senior Center for private conversations with Marshall Fire victims, according to pool reports from the tour. 

“The federal government is not going to go away,” Biden said after his meeting with victims, and noted the role climate change is playing in exacerbating the fire threat in Colorado across the West. 

“We can’t ignore the reality that these fires are being supercharged, they’re being supercharged,” he said. 

Biden’s visit came just a day after emergency response and disaster management officials updated their accounting for the devastation to include 1,270 residential and commercial buildings either destroyed or damaged by the fire.

In response to the fire, Neguse unveiled plans for the Western Wildfire Support Act, a measure that would provide additional federal resources to Western communities for fire prevention, suppression and training efforts. 

“The unprecedented and terrible Marshall Fire has drawn harsh light on the life-threatening and destructive nature of wild and rangeland fires. We cannot expect our communities to bear the burden of these disasters on their own,” he said in a prepared statement. “As we endure increasingly worse wildfire seasons, it is critical for the federal government to lend a hand in stopping fires before they start, fighting them if they spread, and helping our communities fully recover after they’ve been contained.”

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DENVER — Against a backdrop of crystal clear, baby blue skies — a cruel contrast to the smokey air that blanketed the Front Range just eight days before — President Joe Biden touched down Friday afternoon at the Denver International Airport en route to tour the devastation that the Marshall Fire wrought on Boulder County.

The president and First Lady Jill Biden exited Air Force One just after 2 p.m. trailed by Colorado elected officials including Rep. Joe Neguse and U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet. He was greeted on the ground by the likes of Gov. Jared Polis, Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera and Colo. Sen. Leroy Garcia before quickly choppering about Marine One to Louisville. 

Pres. Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden depart Air Force One en route to Boulder County. Lucas High/BizWest.

In Boulder County, Biden and his retinue toured the destruction in Louisville’s Harper Lake neighborhood, one of the harder hit portions of the city. 

“I’m grateful that President Biden is coming to Colorado to survey the damage from the Marshall Fire and meet with those who have been affected,” Bennet said in a prepared statement released before the president’s arrival. “Coloradans are resilient, and with the full support of the federal government and everyone working together, I know we will build back stronger than before.”

Federal leaders met with families who lost their homes along with Boulder County…