SUPERIOR, Colo. — Hundreds of Colorado families woke up on New Year’s Eve with one goal in mind: learn if they still had a home.
Hurricane force winds and record dryness in Boulder County led to the start of the Marshall Fire, a fast-moving grass fire that as of Thursday evening, was believed to have destroyed as many as 600 homes.
From a hilltop in Superior, Colorado, the town where the fire started, some people used the viewfinder on Rocky Mountain PBS’ cameras to zoom in on their property.
There is hope that calmer winds and snow—about half a foot expected in Boulder County through Saturday—will help first responders fully subdue the flames. As of Friday morning, Superior and Louisville were still under evacuation orders, leaving hundreds of residents uncertain about the fate of their homes and possessions.
How you can help victims
Soon after the fire started, the Community Foundation of Boulder County set up a fund to help those who have been impacted by the fire. If you’re looking to donate, you can do that here.
You can also donate to the American Red Cross of Colorado. The Boulder OEM asked that people do not drop off any items at police or fire stations or shelters. They should instead donate the aforementioned fundraisers.
Those looking to volunteer in the recovery effort can sign up for alerts from Colorado Responds at this link.
If you have shelter to offer to victims, you can sign up to be a vetted host on Airbnb and you will be alerted through the company’s Open Homes Program if you are needed.
In a December 31 press conference, Polis said the state is working on short-term housing solutions for fire victims. We will include those details when they are made available.
How to get help
If you evacuated and have questions about the status of your property, call 303-413-7730. Do not call 911.
If you need shelter, these are the approved evacuation sites you can go to:
- North Boulder Rec Center (3170 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80304)
- Lafayette YMCA (2800 Dagny Way, Lafayette, CO 80026)
- Rocky Mountain Christian Church (9447 Niwot Road, Niwot, CO 80503)
- Longmont Senior Center (910 Longs Peak Ave, Longmont, CO 80501)
- 1STBANK Center (11450 Broomfield Ln, Broomfield, CO 80021)
If you are contagious with COVID-19 and need to evacuate, go to the COVID Recover Center at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church (3485 Stanford Ct, Boulder, CO, 80305).
Officials with the Boulder Office of Emergency Management pleaded with evacuees to not return to their property yet.
“We know that you are concerned about your home and your belongings. First responders are working non-stop to keep everyone safe, even as they don’t know the status of their own homes in the area,” the agency wrote. “Please be patient as we do our best to protect everyone’s safety. The recovery process will be a long one, but we will get through this together one step at a time.”
Photography credits: Julio Sandoval, Kyle Cook