Gov. Jared Polis signs disaster declaration for Muddy Slide fire.

Gov. Jared Polis signed an executive order Friday declaring a disaster emergency prompted by the Muddy Slide fire in Routt County.

The executive order better enables state agencies to coordinate fire suppression, response and recovery efforts, according to a news release. The written order comes after Polis verbally declared a disaster emergency for the fire on June 23.

The Colorado Disaster Emergency Act defines a disaster as “the occurrence or imminent threat of widespread or severe damage, injury, or loss of life or property resulting from any natural cause or cause of human origin, including but not limited to fire.”

The wildfire, which started on June 20 and is burning on forest service land west of Kremmling, has scorched 4,093 acres, more than 6 square miles, according to fire officials. On June 22, the fire grew rapidly, to more than 3,000 acres at that time, spreading onto private land and forcing the evacuation of 25 residences.

The Division of Fire Prevention and Control determined that the fire had exceeded county capacity and was eligible for state aid per the Emergency Fire Fund criteria, according to the order. The Emergency Fire Fund has sufficient resources to pay for the state’s share of suppression costs.

The fire, sparked by lightning, is 58% contained. Unless extended, the order expires 30 days from June 23. More than 200 personnel are battling the fire.


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