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Marshall Fire shows gaps in emergency alert systems

Boulder County had not fully implemented its national alert system, called the Weather Emergency Alert (WEA), in time for the crisis.

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — As the Marshall Fire roared into heavily populated areas of Boulder County, some residents report, the only way they knew things were getting dangerous was by watching people run out of nearby Target and Costco stores into hazy parking lots.

At ground zero on Dec. 30, where Boulder Sheriff's Office says the fire originated, some residents said that even though they were signed up to get emergency evacuation alerts through Boulder's Office of Disaster Management, communications to their phones were dead.

>> Video above: Boulder County's emergency notification system only sends alerts in English

"I have gotten alerts when there was a flood, but not this time," said Brigitte Towo.

Mike Zoltowski was living in a friend's home. The friend got a notification and he didn't because his phone wasn't registered through Boulder County's service. "I saw the fire, so I got out of there," he said. 

>> Read the full story on the Denver Gazette

RELATED: Free sifting services for people who lost homes to Marshall Fire

RELATED: Bodycam video captured frantic moments as deputies evacuated people, pets, businesses during Marshall Fire

SUGGESTED VIDEOS: Wildfires in Colorado 


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