|Type of posting||Posting date(EST):||Summary||Downloads|
|Event Summary||1/4/2022 2:00:00 PM|
Event Summary | Summary
Posting Date: January 4, 2022, 2:00:00 PM
A wildfire started near South Cherryvale Road and Marshall Drive in the Marshall Mesa area of Boulder County, Colorado, on the morning of December 30, 2021. Fanned by exceptionally strong winds, it quickly spread from dry grasses, vegetation and a shed on farmland and in open spaces to suburban areas. Dubbed the Marshall Fire, it had burned around 6,000 acres by 10:30 that morning, having blazed through neighborhoods in the area between Denver and Boulder—hitting the towns of Superior and Louisville the hardest. Although the fire was short-lived, thanks to a snowstorm the next night that extinguished hot spots and prevented further spread, it managed to burn at least 9.4 square miles.
Local authorities said at least 991 homes and other buildings were destroyed (with another 127 damaged) across Louisville, Superior, and unincorporated parts of Boulder County; these numbers could rise as the 8 to 10 inches of snow cover melts and damage assessments continue. According to local officials, there are 1,725 homes within the burn area, with a total value of USD 825 million, although not all of these were destroyed or damaged. Low and freezing temperatures are complicating the situation, as about 7,500 homes were without power on Saturday morning and about 13,000 people were without gas. Power outages of more than a day were experienced at the same time in areas well removed from the active fire.
The Marshall Fire became the most destructive fire in Colorado’s history partially due to its location in the wildland-urban interface (WUI)—the region where unmanaged (or natural) vegetation meets urban expansion. This follows Colorado’s largest fire, which blazed in 2020, dubbed the Pine Gulch Fire. In 2018 the Colorado State Forest Service reported data indicating that nearly half of the state’s population now lives in areas at risk from wildfires—an increase of almost a 50% in only five years.
Officials are investigating and pursuing possible leads related to the ignition of the Marshall Fire, which could take weeks or months.
This is the final ALERT planned for the Marshall Fire.