‘Most Destructive’ Fire In Colorado History Engulfs Hundreds Of Homes, Forces 30,000+ To Evacuate: Reports
LOUISVILLE, CO - DECEMBER 30: A home burns after a fast moving wildfire swept through the area in the Centennial Heights neighborhood of Louisville, Colorado on December 30, 2021. State officials estimated some 600 homes had already been lost in multiple areas around Boulder County and were fueled by winds that gusted upwards of 100 miles per hour at times during the day.
Marc Piscotty / Getty Images

A massive fire in northern Colorado burned hundreds of homes to the ground in a suburban area and forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate their homes as strong winds of more than 100 mph caused the fire to spread rapidly.

“Nearly 600 homes have been destroyed in the Marshall Fire – along with hotels, shopping centers and businesses. The fire had burned 1,600 acres and was still growing Thursday night,” CBS News Denver reported. “All residents in the Town of Superior  and Louisville — and parts of Broomfield — were directed to evacuate due to threat of fire Thursday afternoon and evening.”

Images from local officials, journalists, and residents showed the enormity of the situation as it quickly spiraled out of control.

“Superior’s 12,000 people were the first to be evacuated, followed by Louisville with a population of about 20,000. Later in the evening, evacuations widened and parts of Broomfield were under pre-evacuation orders,” The Denver Post reported. With emergency responders scrambling to shut down roadways, the fire spread so quickly that Boulder County officials asked the public to stop calling 911 to report downed trees and blown over vehicles, the outlet reported.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis declared a state of emergency following the outbreak of the fire, which the governor’s office said was “created by high winds across the Front Range.”

“Don’t head towards the fires looking to see them,” Polis said. “We are getting reports of clogged roads from onlookers. Also, it’s very dangerous. Stay clear of the areas with fires and let our firefighters and first responders do their work.”

The Boulder Office of Emergency Management instructed people who live in the area to not return to their homes after they have left because it complicated the jobs of first responders.

“Residents who evacuated/have property in evacuation zones, please do NOT return to the area,” Boulder OEM said in a tweet. “We know that you are concerned about your home/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.”

“This was consuming football-field lengths of land in seconds. We had never seen anything like it. This was a horrific event,” Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said at a news conference. “There was a lot of brave stuff going on out there today.”

“If the damage is confirmed, the Marshall fire will be the most destructive in Colorado history in terms of the number of homes lost,” the Colorado Sun reported. “Pelle said that 370 homes were lost in the Sagamore neighborhood in Superior alone, and an additional 210 may have been destroyed in Old Town Superior. It’s not yet known how many homes were lost in Louisville and unincorporated areas of Boulder County that were in the fire’s path. The Element Hotel in Superior also was consumed by the fire. And the nearby shopping center with a Target and Costco was, at the very least, damaged.”

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