(CBS4) — Gov. Jared Polis toured areas devastated by two of the biggest wildfires in state history. He met with Coloradans who had fled their homes — and the firefighters who were trying to save them.
“For those who are going through this loss, we are with you,” he said.
Polis promised evacuees in Grand County that the state would support them in their recovery, whatever that might look like.
“The watershed, the roads, the emergency relief… for those who can return safely and for those who lost everything, you still wake up and being alive and waking up is a blessing in it’s own right,” Polis said.
In the midst of heartbreak, the governor looked for hope — praising first responders and aid workers.
“Despite yourselves being evacuated, you’re doing your job, you’re helping others as you have to do.”
Evacuee Linda Crane said she’d never seen such an outpouring of support.
“The community has come together. Everybody has tried to help each other, livestock have been moved, people have offered their homes to strangers who’ve been evacuated.”
For those like Crane, the longing for news was surpassed only by the fear of what it might hold.
“We think there’s hope then we hear something else. It’s been quite a rollercoaster. We just don’t know.”
From Winter Park, the Governor traveled to Broomfield to get an update on air support and then to Loveland for a briefing at incident command. He thanked crews on the ground and in the air, calling the air tankers lifelines.
“No amount of equipment can hit the fire with enough force to end it but what you can do – and these are targeted – is you protect communities, you cut off places the fire is spreading… And, of course, fire season is not over yet but we are hoping for some significant snow this weekend, the weather forecast looks good, but the next 24-36 hours is going to really be touch and go.”
Colorado, he noted, is due for a break.
“I think many Colorado families, and really people across the world, say what a year, right?