Supporting Long-Term Recovery After Wildfires in Colorado

Supporting Long-Term Recovery After Wildfires in Colorado

Web Statement

March 12, 2021

Episcopal Relief & Development is supporting the Episcopal Church in Colorado as it responds to multiple wildfires that destroyed homes and infrastructure and led to evacuations across the state in the second half of 2020.

The 2020 Colorado wildfire season was record-breaking, burning over 625,000 acres, and included the three largest recorded fires in the state’s history. Evacuations and fire damage created disruption, major expenses and stress in communities already struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many survivors lost their homes and/or businesses. Others lost jobs.

The towns of Granby, Estes Park and Grand Lake were seriously impacted by the fires. Fortunately, all were evacuated safely, but some residents are still looking for permanent housing and are seeking relief from insurance companies and non-profits to enable them to rebuild.

The Episcopal Church in Colorado began responding to the wildfire in late summer, providing gift cards and housing for evacuees through its local parishes and supporting local food banks to meet immediate needs. The Church, with Episcopal Relief & Development’s support, is continuing to support these communities as they rebuild. Staff and highly-skilled volunteers are working to identify individuals and families who are most in need of assistance with shelter, medical care, food and construction on a longer-term basis. Additionally, the Church is replenishing local food banks.

“The Episcopal Church in Colorado, with our support, is addressing the compounded needs created by wildfires and COVID-19 in order to help communities recover now that the initial phases of the disaster have passed,” said Lura Steele, Program Officer, US Disaster Program, Episcopal Relief & Development. “The Church has been able to leverage connections and learnings from its response to 2013 flooding in order to maximize its efforts.”

Learn more about the stages of a disaster, rescue, relief and recovery, and what you can do to help. Please continue to pray for all those impacted by the wildfires in Colorado and other western states.

For 80 years, Episcopal Relief & Development has been working together with supporters and partners for lasting change around the world. Each year the organization facilitates healthier, more fulfilling lives for more than 3 million people struggling with hunger, poverty, disaster and disease. Inspired by Jesus’ words in Matthew 25, Episcopal Relief & Development leverages the expertise and resources of Anglican and other partners to deliver measurable and sustainable change in three signature program areas: Women, Children and Climate.