DR4581 Wildfire Recovery

On January 15, 2021, the President approved Major Disaster Declaration 4581 for the State of Colorado due to the East Troublesome Fire in Grand and the Cameron Peak Fire in Larimer County.  Federal funding, under this cost-sharing program, supports recovery efforts for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the wildfires as outlined in the January 15 announcement.  The declaration includes categories A - G.

Mitigation Resources and Publications

The following resources are available from the DHSEM and FEMA mitigation staff.  If you have any questions please email FEMA-R8-HMhelp@fema.dhs.gov.

FEMA Webinar Videos

Flood After Fire FEMA Webinar


Wildfire Preparations and Recovery FEMA Webinar

General Information
Prepare for Wildfire
Post Wildfire
Landslides and Debris Flow 
Flood Publications
CDC Resources
Colorado State Forest Service Resources

Hazard Mitigation Grant Program

Public Assistance Grant Program

FEMA’s Public Assistance Program provides supplemental grants to state, tribal, territorial and local governments, and certain types of private non-profits (PNP) so that communities can quickly respond to and recover from major disasters or emergencies. FEMA also encourages the protection of these damaged facilities from future events by providing assistance for hazard mitigation measures during the recovery process. More detailed information can also be located in the FEMA Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide.

What Projects Qualify

What Projects Qualify

The declaration includes PA Categories A-G. 

Emergency Work

Category A: Debris Removal

Eliminate immediate threats to lives, public health, and safety Eliminates immediate threats of significant damage to improved public or private property Ensures economic recovery of the affected community to the benefit of the community at large


Category G: Parks, Recreation, Other

Playground Equipment  Swimming Pools Bath Houses Tennis Courts Golf Courses Boat Dock Piers Picnic Tables Fish Hatcheries Mass Transit Facilities

Category F: Utilities

Water Treatment Plants Power Generation Distribution Facilities
  • Natural Gas Systems
  • Wind Turbines
  • Generators
  • Substations
  • Power Lines

Category E: Buildings and Equipment

Buildings Structural Components Interior Systems
  • Electrical
  • Mechanical
  • Contents

Category D: Water Control Facilities

Dams and Reservoirs Levees Engineered Drainage Channels Canals Aqueducts Sediment Basins Shore Protection Devices Irrigation Facilities Pumping Facilities

Permanent Work

Category C: Roads and Bridges

  • Surfaces
  • Bases
  • Shoulders
  • Ditches
  • Drainage Structures
  • Low Water Crossing
  • Decking & Pavement
  • Piers
  • Girders
  • Abutments
  • Slope Protection
  • Approaches
  • Animal carcass removal
  • Demolition of structures
  • Search and rescue
  • Fire fighting
  • Security services
  • Dissemination of information to the public
  • Searching to locate and recover human remains
  • Mass mortuary services

Category B: Emergency Protective Measures

Transporting and pre-positioning equipment Flood fighting Emergency Operation Center related costs Emergency access Supplies and commodities Medical care and transport Evacuation and sheltering Child care Safety inspections


Public Assistance Program Resources

Procurement Guidance

Environmental and Historic Preservation and Disaster Recovery

As you repair and rebuild your communities, environmental and historic preservation concerns may seem unimportant. However, as with all federal funding, certain requirements related to the environment must be fulfilled. This information is provided to help you better understand environmental factors that you must consider as you apply for FEMA funding. The information and assistance described here will help avoid any environmental roadblocks or time delays. The most important message is that EHP staff are available to help you with all environmental requirements. Contained here are facts, procedures, and contacts to help you through the process.

Please identify any potential environmental and historic preservation (EHP) concerns or issues and discuss these with our EHP staff as soon as possible. This will help FEMA address issues and expedite funding. Our work on this disaster is under the direction of FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer, Jon K. Huss. We are also coordinating closely with the Colorado Office of Emergency Management. 

Environmental Laws and Project Requirements

In addition to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), listed below are the other primary environmental laws and executive orders that come into play when rebuilding or replacing a “public assistance” facility. Some activities can proceed without environmental or historic review, others may require environmental consideration, and, in some of the major projects, consultation with the state, tribes and FEMA is necessary before construction begins. Failure to comply with applicable environmental and historic preservation laws could jeopardize or delay potential funding.  

  • Endangered Species Act
  • National Historic Preservation Act
  • Clean Water Act (especially Section 404)
  • Farmland Protection Policy Act
  • Executive Order for Wetlands Protection
  • Executive Order for Floodplain Protection
  • Executive Order for Environmental Justice

Some projects proceed without detailed review. Those include:

  • Emergency Protective Actions and Debris Removal (not staging)
  • Repairs to pre-disaster condition or temporary repairs (unless 50+ years old)

Some projects require an environmental review. Those include:

  • Debris disposal
  • Where the footprint is different than pre-disaster conditions
  • Involving hazard mitigation
  • Involving threatened or endangered species, wetlands or floodplains


Some projects require review and consultation. Those include:


  • Improved or alternate project
  • Other projects where the scope of work has changed


View the Colorado Disaster DR4581 Green Sheet with information on the following topics:


  • Waterways, Culverts, Bridges
  • USFWS Management Areas
  • Floodplains
  • Wetlands
  • Wild and Scenic Rivers
  • Threatened and Endangered Species
  • Historic Preservation and Tribal Relations
  • Debris Disposal and Hazardous Materials
  • Other Considerations
  • Contacts
Frequently Asked Questions

Declaration Process

Has the State of Colorado received a Presidential Disaster Declaration for the 2020 Wildfires?

Yes, a Major Disaster Declaration (DR 4581) was approved on January 15, 2021, for Public Assistance (PA) for the following counties: Grand and Larimer. The Individual Assistance request was denied.


The estimated fair market value of the home, estimated loss to home, and amount of insurance received for the home.

The estimated fair market value of the personal property estimated personal property losses and the amount of insurance received for personal property.

What data is required by SBA to consider a declaration?

SBA is looking for a total of 25 houses (primary or renters) that have uninsured losses of over 40 percent. This can be for the home itself, or personal property that was lost to the fire. If there are businesses that meet this requirement, SBA will consider those losses as well.  For the 25 homes, SBA will want to know: 

Who is eligible for SBA assistance?

Small businesses and individual households can apply for assistance. See the SBA Fact Sheet for details.

If the appeal for IA is unsuccessful, then the state will apply for an SBA declaration. 

Small Business Administration Loans

If IA is not received, will the state pursue an SBA agency declaration? 

If the IA appeal is denied, what other forms of assistance are available?

The Small Business Administration (SBA) can award disaster declarations where FEMA does not provide assistance. See the Small Business Administration Loans section below for more information.

How long will the appeal process take? 

The state has 30 days to complete the appeal process and submit it to FEMA . The deadline February 14, 2021.

There is no mandated timeline for FEMA to respond to the appeal request. 

Will the state appeal the IA denial?

Yes, appeal procedures are underway.

Individual Assistance (IA) Declaration Information

Why didn’t any county receive an initial IA declaration?

FEMA determined that the unmet needs in those counties were not significant enough to warrant a Major Disaster Declaration. 

What are the next steps for potential PA applicants?

DHSEM's Office of Grants Management will host applicant briefings for entities that are interested in applying. All applicants are required to attend a briefing. 

  • The schedule of briefings can be in the section above or on the calendar on this website homepage

  • While each briefing is tailored to a specific audience, if you are not able to attend the appropriate briefing, please feel free to join another. 

After attending an applicant briefing, interested applicants will need to register an account with the FEMA Grants Portal and submit a Request for Public Assistance by February 14, 2021. 

  • Video instructions on how to register with the FEMA Grants Portal and complete the Request for Public Assistance can be found on the FEMA YouTube channel.

Who can apply for PA? 

Any Colorado state, local, tribal or territorial government within the designated counties can apply for assistance. 

Certain private non-profit (PNP) entities can also apply. Criteria include:

  • PNP must own or operate a facility that provides an eligible service, which is either a facility that provides (a) critical service, which is defined as education, utility, emergency, or medical or (b) noncritical but essential social service and provides those services to the general public.

  • A list of eligible services can be found in the Applicant Coordination and Eligibility chapter of the Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide (PAPPG)

Public Assistance (PA) Declaration Information

What projects are eligible for PA funding?

There are seven main categories of work that qualify for PA funding, including Debris Removal, Emergency Protective Measures, Road and Bridges, Water Control Facilities, Buildings and Equipment, Utilities, and Parks and Recreation. For further detail, please refer to the FEMA PA Facts section above.

Will the State appeal the Individual Assistance denial?

The state is working with the counties to determine if the information is available to support an appeal of the FEMA decision.

How was it determined which fires were included in the declaration request?

FEMA decided on the defined incident period, which included Cameron Peak (Larimer County) and East Troublesome (Grand County) Fires.

What is Public Assistance and Individual Assistance?

Public Assistance is a program under the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that assists in the recovery and restoration of community infrastructure. Please visit the FEMA website Public Assistance page for more information on Public Assistance.

Individual Assistance is a FEMA program that provides aid to individuals and households who have uninsured or underinsured necessary expenses and serious needs, such as housing or personal property losses. Please visit the FEMA website Individual Assistance page for more information on Individual Assistance.




U.S. Small Business Administration Program

The SBA offers disaster assistance in the form of low-interest loans to businesses, nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters located in regions affected by declared disasters. SBA also provides eligible small businesses and nonprofit organizations with working capital to help overcome the economic injury of a declared disaster.

U.S. Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loans for Non-Profits

Low-interest federal disaster loans are now available to certain private nonprofit organizations in Colorado following the federal disaster declaration for Public Assistance as a result of wildfires that occurred Sept. 6 – Nov. 5, 2020, announced the U.S. Small Business Administration. Private nonprofits that provide essential services of a governmental nature are eligible for assistance. These low-interest federal disaster loans are available in Grand and Larimer counties.

SBA may lend private nonprofits up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. SBA can also lend additional funds to help with the cost of improvements to protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.

For certain private nonprofit organizations of any size, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help with meeting working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic Injury Disaster Loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that cannot be paid because of the disaster’s impact. Economic injury assistance is available regardless of whether the nonprofit suffered any property damage.

The interest rate is 2.75 percent with terms up to 30 years. The deadline to apply for property damage is March 16, 2021. The deadline to apply for economic injury is Oct. 15, 2021.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX  76155.

Disaster Assistance 

U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Assistance 


Disaster assistance awarded for both physical damage and economic injury to business owners, homeowners and private non-profit agencies. The counties eligible for disaster assistance:

  • Grand
  • Larimer
  • Boulder
  • Clear Creek
  • Eagle
  • Gilpin
  • Jackson
  • Routt
  • Summit

Disaster Assistance Information