The summer and fall of 2012 represented the worst wildfire season on record in Colorado. In response to this devastation, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper established the 2012Colorado Fire Relief Fund (the Fire Fund) to provide private funding to support meeting unmet intermediate needs for individuals, families, community organizations, and volunteer fire departments across Colorado. Nearly $1.7 million was contributed to the Fire Fund by generous individuals, businesses, and foundations, with 100 percent of the funding directly supporting grants to nonprofit organizations and local governments.
All grants awarded by the Fire Fund addressed the following funding priorities:
- Meet the intermediate unmet needs of individuals and families whose lives were seriously affected by the wildfires;
- Support rebuilding communities including environmental restoration projects and reestablishing important community resources;
- Help volunteer fire departments to compensate volunteer firefighters for loss of income; and
- Support volunteer fire departments in replenishing depleted supplies.
The Fire Fund awarded a total of 81 grants across Colorado in accordance with these priorities, with a majority of the funding supporting recovery efforts related to the High Park and Waldo Canyon fires.