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Nearly 600 Homes Destroyed, 35,000 Evacuated as Wildfires Sweep Through Boulder County Colorado

The blaze has destroyed entire neighborhoods, shopping centers and thousands of acres of land as fires rage across the Colorado county

Thirty-five thousand people from the towns of Superior and Louisville were evacuated on Thursday as wildfires destroyed nearly 600 homes in Boulder County, Colorado.

According to the Boulder Emergency Operations Center, the Marshall fire has burned roughly 1,600 acres by late Thursday. The state agency tracks the updates, efforts and impact of the wildfires currently affecting the area.

The fire had already destroyed at least 370 homes in the Sagamore area, 210 homes in Old Town Superior and several businesses, including an Element hotel and a Target store, according to reports Thursday. 

There have been no reported deaths due to the wildfires so far. Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said he “would not be surprised” if the blaze killed people.

“I’ve never seen anything like it, and we’ve had a lot of fires,” Pelle said. “This is a horrific event.” 

According to initial estimates by Colorado officials, the Marshall fire appears to be the most destructive wildfire in Colorado’s history. The previous record is held by the Black Forest Fire, which destroyed 486 homes in 2013.

This week’s fire prompted Gov. Jared Polis to declare a state of emergency on Thursday. The governor’s declaration gives the state access to emergency funds, the Colorado National Guard, the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control and the State Emergency Operations Center.

“Gusts of 100, 110 mph can and have moved this fire down a football field in a matter of seconds,” Polis said. “1,600 acres near a population center can be, and in this case is, absolutely devastating.”

Officials who help in emergency efforts could not fly state helicopters and planes all day because of wind conditions. 

Firefighters on Thursday night were trying their best to preserve homes in the line of a fast-moving wildfire.

Colorado University’s football coach, Mark Smith, was among those whose homes had been destroyed.

“Just got word that every material possession we had today is now gone,” Smith tweeted.

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3 responses to “Nearly 600 Homes Destroyed, 35,000 Evacuated as Wildfires Sweep Through Boulder County Colorado”

  1. Kharmon18 says:

    I still can’t process this fire. I grew up in Louisville for 23 years. Definitely not the same town but so many of my friends parents have been affected. It is insane watching the fire and explaining to my wife who’s home is on fire. God be with these families 🙏 and may compassion and mercy shine down on Louisville, Superior.

  2. wescom says:

    I get your point IntegratedCrazy, but I think this one is a bit more Eathenly. Just as the places where I grew up in, fire set backs were very small. Something on the order of fifty (50) feet in costal California dry scrub oak mountain land!!! This house was in the central coast were the HOA forbade much of any useful setback. Year after year Calfire crews showed up to explain that my house was a loss if there was a fire. They would not attempt to safe the property because of the non-existent fire set back.

    Yea…removing trees and taking care of the land in the interest of human safety can look unnatural, just look at those places now. Ashes.

    Folks are gonna try to bust my balls on this one. 110 mph reported winds. Sure. And a 200 yard fire break around the city, strong discouragement of wood shingles and strong encouragement for roof sprinklers wouldn’t have done a thing?

    These things have been tabled for decades. Nobody should be shocked at the results.
    I just hope nobody died.

    Looking for Brandon. Anyone seen him?


  3. IntegratedCrazy says:

    God said there wouldn’t be another flood. But he said nothing about fire. Cleanse the land.