Emergency Status
Dec 31

Press Conference Summary – Dec. 31, 2021 at 10 a.m.

View a video of the news briefing.

Firefighters worked overnight and continue to work today to extinguish the fire and active hot spots in the area. We were fortunate that the winds dissipated last night, and today’s snow is helping firefighting efforts. However, the snow alone will not be enough to completely extinguish the fire, and we’ll continue to have firefighting resources on the ground. That being said, we don’t expect the fire to grow significantly moving ahead due to the favorable weather.

Governor Polis and Sheriff Pelle flew over the area this morning to assess the damage. We know there are 1,778 homes that reside within the burn area. However, we want to stress that is NOT the number of homes destroyed. We were able to save many homes. We hope to have more information today or Saturday and will release an update on the number of homes destroyed. Currently, the fire has spread to approximately 6,000 acres, with 580 homes destroyed. Sheriff Pelle said it would not be surprising if the number of homes destroyed totaled around 1,000. We are sharing an updated map of the burn area, but not all homes within the burn area were destroyed.

Marshall Fire Burn Area Map as of 6 a.m. Dec. 31, 2021.

Cause of the fire

Downed power lines were found Thursday in the burn area and they are expected to have led to the cause of the fire, Pelle said. However, sheriff’s deputies are investigating the official cause today.

No access to evacuation areas for residents or media

Residents are NOT allowed to go into the evacuation areas. The area is still dangerous. First responders are addressing active hot spots, downed power lines, trees at risk of falling, conducting searches of properties, making damage assessments, and investigating the cause of the fire. As soon as residents can safely return to the area to check on their homes, we will share that information. Please be patient and adhere to road closures.

Boil water notice

Last night, residents of Louisville were placed under a boil water notice, and this morning residents of Superior were also placed under a boil water notice. This is due to issues with the water pressure causing potential water contamination.

Road closures and trail closures

A large section of U.S. 36 continues to remain closed at this time. There are additional road closures in the impacted area. Please check the Boulder OEM website for the latest road closure updates. Additionally, all trailheads east of Highway 93 to McCaslin and south of South Boulder Road to Highway 128 are CLOSED. Stay out of this area.

Assistance for Fire Victims

We have received an outpouring of support from the community to volunteer and make donations. We appreciate this, but please do not deploy yourself to these areas. For those who want to volunteer, please visit: ColoradoResponds.org. For those wishing to make financial donations, you may do so through the Community Foundation/Colorado Gives and Red Cross. Additional donations can be facilitated through forms on Boulder OEM’s website.

Call Center for Boulder County Residents

We have a community call center established. This call center has information concerning the fires’ impact on Boulder County and can be reached at 303-413-7730. Any community members with questions or needs are encouraged to call here instead of 911.