- Time Line
- Resources & Status 12/31/21
- How You Can Help
- Sheriff and Government Public Reports 12/31/21
- Where to Go for Help
Colorado’s Front Range experienced winds with gusts of up to 110mph on Thursday, December 30, 2021. Due to extreme drought in Colorado for most of the year, suspected downed power lines caused fires in suburban neighborhoods of Denver.
City of Boulder — It was reported that downed lines started two fires in Boulder County. The first fire was reported in the 5500 block of Broadway sometime between 10 and 11 a.m. Boulder County sheriff office said the fire reached about an acre in size but was soon contained, and no structures were damaged. The second fire was in the 1100 block of Cascade Drive in Boulder, and was allegedly caused by a downed power line in the backyard of a home. This fire was also contained shortly.
Very high winds were reported for all open roads, like 93 (Boulder to Golden), and the Highway 7 canyon (to Allenspark), the Foothills (from Lyons to Boulder, and in Boulder). Due to the Middle Fork fires, Highway 36 between Lyons and Boulder was mostly closed.
Middle Fork Fire — The first fire, called the Middle Fork fire, was reported just before 10:30 a.m. near the intersection of North Foothills Hwy. and Middle Fork Road. Crews were able to contain the Middle Fork Fire later in the day, and resources were reallocated to the Marshall Fire.
Marshall Fire — The Marshall Fire was reported just after 11 a.m. at South Foothills Hwy. and Marshall Road. The entire towns of Superior and Louisville were under mandatory evacuation notices, with many getting a knock on the door and given two minutes to leave. The combined population is 32,000 people.
The interstate Highway 36 was closed in the Louisville and Superior area, near the Flatirons Mall. == Structures burnt: 370 in Sagamore neighborhood homes; 210 homes in Old Town Superior; Target in Superior on fire; new Element Hotel in Superior. Cosgo in Superior evacuated in heavy smoke. Two local hospitals mostly evacuated, but not damaged.
Gov. Jared Polis declares a State of Emergency approximately noon time. FEMA also authorized the use of federal funds to help with firefighting costs. The declaration allows the state to access disaster emergency funds to support the emergency response efforts in Boulder and provide state resources including the use of the Colorado National Guard, Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control and activation of the State Emergency Operations Center.
Sheriff Pele says, “We cannot emphasize this enough. Please stay out of the evacuation areas.”
Resources & Status https://www.boulderoem.com/emergency-status/
The information below may become outdated as time goes by, and your best source for current information will be the link above.
For official updates on the Boulder Fire follow Boulder Office of Emergency Management on Twitter at www.twitter.com/boulderoem or bookmark their website at
You can keep up with up-to-date road closures, evacuation areas, maps, power outages, and more.
Community Call Center states fires impact 303-413-7730 (NOT 911). Call center closes at 11:30 p.m. and reopens at 9 a.m.
Non-Boulder County residents are encouraged to contact their county of residence for emergency information.
Evacuation Shelters –
==North Boulder Recreation Center, 3170 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80304 (as of 12/30/21 it is full)
==YMCA Arapahoe Branch, 2800 Dagny Way, Lafayette, CO 80026 (no overnight)
==Lafayette YMCA, 2800 Dagny Way, Lafayette, COMental Health Partners are on site at this location to provide mental health support
==Rocky Mtn Christian Church, 9447 Niwot Rd., Longmont (Niwot)
==If you are COVID-positive and must evacuate, please evacuate to the COVID Recovery Center at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, 3485 Stanford Ct, Boulder, CO – Adults Only.
The Boulder County web page will have the address of a new location that families with children can go to for shelter. This shelter also has unstable power at this point, may need to be moved if power cannot be restored. Updates to come at their web page.
==Animal /Livestock Evacuation Site
Boulder County Fairgrounds is FULL.
Please take animals in need of shelter to Jefferson County Fairgrounds, 15200 W 6th Ave. Frontage Rd., Golden, CO, or The Ranch Events Complex, 5280 Arena Circle, Suite 100, Loveland.
Electric Heaters: Xcel will provide space heaters to affected customers in Superior and Louisville. To pick up a space heater, please stop by the Red Cross shelter at YMCA in Lafayette at 2800 Dagny Way.
Boil water notice – Both Superior and Louisville residents should boil water prior to consumption until further notice.
How you can help
DONATIONS: The Community Foundation of Boulder County has set up a fund to assist those impacted by the wildfires in Boulder County. Please visit their website to make a donation. (Please be patient, as their phone lines were overwhelmed.)
CLOTHING, FOOD & TOILITRIES ETC. — within three days, all of the major sites were overwhelmed with donations, and have closed their doors to further donations. They do not want to have to toss out goods that could be donated to other causes.
VOLUNTEER at www.ColoradoResponds.org and www.RedCross.com
LYONS: there are people and groups in Lyons who are gathering items that are listed as “needed.” Watch Facebook for updates.
LODGING: If you are a private homeowner and want to help, you can sign up to be a vetted host through AirBNB. Anyone who signs up will be alerted through the AirBNB Open Homes Program, if needed. The Colorado Apartment Association has put up a Directory of apartments for those displaced by the fires, broken down by such things as “fees waived,” “lowered rent,” “speeded up processing time,” etc. Update your listing if you want to help.
Help Yourself — Check out our article on what to do, and pack in a Fire Emergency. (Go to middle of page for KIT lists)
Check out our article on how to check to make sure you have sufficient insurance coverage.
Sheriff and Government Public Reports
December 31, Friday, 11:30AM –
no fatalities. no missing people.
The Governor is calling it a Christmas Miracle that 100s of people were not lost or gone.
Winds dissipated last night, and 3-6 inches of snow in Boulder County.
Approximately 2,000 homes in the area, but entire subdivisions were gone,
West side of Superior, and Old Town Superior all gone.
Toward Marshall and Eldorado Springs area, dozens of burnt out homes.
South side of Louisville dozens of homes gone.
Some homes on the same street are still intact; it was a mosaic.
There are 500+ destroyed homes now counted, and it will take time to get the final numbers (includes some businesses destroyed)
6,000 Acres…updated overnight…
Still fires burning (eg smoldering), but not expecting to see any growth in the fire.
The fire was working basically the same speed as the wind speed.
We couldnt actively fight the fire in the first few hours; life safety was priority.
Power lines fell; the matter is being actively investigated– the origin of the fire.
Actively working on power – electricity, water.
The damage assessment will be done, address by address. There will be a map published on the OEM web site, but in many cases only some of the homes in the areas are destroyed. It will take at least another day to get the addresses.
Still active fires, and risks seen.
Do not go back to your home.
Boil water for Louisville and Superior due to water pressure lost.
All trailheads east of 93 are closed. Power line and fire issues.
DO NOT go to the areas to volunteer to help (or any other reason).
coloradoresponds.org // donation: boulder.OEM.com — cash is better.
Community Call Center states fires impact 303-413-7730 (NOT 911).
==Gov. Jared Polis:
Wind gusts 105mph, made for an unusual burn pattern, and very fast spread of fire.
Many families had literally minutes to leave.
President Biden called and offered his support, and gave expeditated Major Disaster Declaration/ approval of swift FEMA funding.
This was a suburban fire, not a forest fire.
These are not just houses but homes; we are struggling to believe and understand.
Hospitals and schools were spared. It’s a holiday miracle that there were no fatalities.
“Mr Rogers” once said “look for the helpers; you’ll always find people who are helping” and
time and time again we find those people… now 100s of first responders and more – thank you.
We thank you for your suport.
Thank you to the Sheriff and first responders who did an unbelievable job in getting people out.
No loss of life is a profound statement of their good work. And thanks to Gov Polis for your quick response and getting the full cooperation of the federal government. We have always build back stronger; we know this county is Mountain Strong.
==Rep. Joe Neguse:
thanks to all.. service and bravery. For those who have lost everything, we stand with you. At the YMCA I saw neighbors taking care of neighbors.
Police department report
January 1, 2022 – Sheriff Pelle, Boulder County, reported:
Louisville – 553 destroyed, 45 damaged
Superior – 332 destroyed, 60 damaged
Unincorporated Boulder County (primarily west of Superior towards Marshall and El Dorado Springs) – 106 destroyed, 22 damaged
3 people missing
The sheriff’s office released a preliminary list of structures believed to have been destroyed. See the list here. Pelle said the number of properties destroyed is not final, but is likely close to the final total.
Louisville – all pre-evacuations within the city limits have been lifted as of 1 p.m. Saturday. Residents in hard closure areas are not being allowed in at this time, and residents in soft closure areas must show ID for reentry.
There are currently no changes to evacuation orders in Superior and unincorporated Boulder County.
The Police have an ongoing investigation as to what caused the fire.
They have closed everything to the public to prevent scavengers.
Where to go for help
January 2, 2022 – FEMA came in immediately, within 48 hours, with 100 people already on Saturday.
Community Call Center states fires impact 303-413-7730 (NOT 911).
For more wellness information, go to Colorado Crisis Services, call 844-493-8255 or text TALK 38255. Colorado Crisis Services provides free, confidential and immediate support. Their crisis clinicians and peer specialists are available 24/7/365 via phone, text, or in-person at their walk-in centers.
Unified Assistance Center – insurers, FEMA, SBA, and more – 9am – 7pm every day – 1755 S. Public Road, Lafayette for emergency assistance: FEMA will have available low interest loans. Also grants for temporary housing, repairs, and more. Your insurance company is your first place to go. Businesses also have some loans available. Next, apply for FEMA assistance online or by calling 1-800-621- 3362. They have a trailer at the Center.
People who lost their jobs permanently need to know that there is emergency-related unemployment funds being set up.
Federal: www.disasterassistant.gov and a physical center is being set up so you can talk to someone face-to-face.
State Resource Information: Colorado (also has INFORMACIÓN SEGUIDA EN ESPAÑOL)
LODGING OPTIONS for Displaced People – some are free, and some have other special options: AirBNB Open Homes Program (this is not the normal AirBNB vacation web site); Colorado Apartment Association Directory of apartments for those displaced.
January 5, 2022 – Updates to above information.
Two people are still missing. The fire is 100% contained. Most areas are now open to residents, but most of Superior is still under a “hard closure.” So far it looks like the fire was not caused by downed electric lines; and it is still under investigation. Boulder County schools are slated to open “as normal” this week. All affected home and business owners who were affected are advised to immediately go to the Unified Assistance Center to get registered, to report their losses, to get financial help, and more. (see above for a few more details). The Boulder Community Foundation has collected $12 million for the Marshall fire victims, but much more will be needed; your donations are welcomed.
See 1/5/22 “LETTER” from BOULDER COMMUNITY FOUNDATION “Wildfire Fund” — summary to date of funds donated, and where and when they will be distributed.