COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.—Standing at a severely burned ranch Friday, Colorado officials made a plea for money to repair the damage of last year's wildfires.

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet and Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach toured the Wolfe Ranch property, where a nonprofit organization and AmeriCorps volunteers were working to restore wildlife and minimize the danger of flooding in areas burned by the Waldo Canyon Fire last year.

Flooding is a major concern for the state's badly burnt watersheds because of the damage to the soil and to vegetation.

El Paso County, the site of the fire, stood to receive $20 million to aid in burn-area repairs, but Republicans in the House of Representatives stripped funds to repair wildfire damage from the Superstore Sandy relief package in January.

Speaking from Wolfe Ranch, Bennet criticized "political games in Washington," The Colorado Springs Gazette ( reported.

Bennet, U.S. Sen. Mark Udall and U.S. Rep. Jared Polis have been urging the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to release money to replace the lost relief funds.

Bennet said that it's important for the nation not to forget the state of emergency in Colorado. His sentiments were echoed by several local politicians including El Paso County Commissioner Sallie Clark.

She said that if burn areas are not restored, the subsequent flooding "will be our hurricane."


Information from: The Gazette,