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2 missing, 991 homes destroyed in Marshall Fire

Two people are missing after a wildfire destroyed 991 structures, according to the Boulder County Sheriff's Office.

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — Two people are missing, 991 structures were destroyed and 127 were damaged in the Marshall Fire in Boulder County, according to Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle. 

Pelle said Saturday that three people were missing, but said Sunday that one of them, a man, has been found alive and well. 

A woman from Superior and a man from Marshall are still missing, Pelle said.  

The family of Nadine Turnbull said she is among the missing.

RELATED: 91-year-old grandmother still missing after Marshall Fire, says family

During an update Saturday afternoon, Pelle said the number of properties destroyed is not final, but is likely close to the final total.

He broke down the number of structures destroyed or damaged by area:

  • 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

The sheriff's office released a preliminary list of structures believed to have been destroyed. See the list here

RELATED: Boulder County releases preliminary list of nearly 1,000 properties destroyed in Marshall Fire

Pelle said some evacuated areas will be reopened to residents only on Sunday, while others remain closed. 

> The latest information on evacuation orders can be found on the Boulder Office of Emergency Management's interactive map.

Pelle said the missing persons cases would likely turn into recovery operations. Cadaver dogs are searching fire areas, but Pelle said search and recovery efforts were being impeded after about eight inches of snow fell Friday night. 

Louisville Police Chief David Hayes said cadaver dogs are also working in Louisville "out of an abundance of caution." No one has been reported missing in Louisville. 

RELATED: Some utilities restored, others shut off in Superior, Louisville

Origin of fire

Pelle said investigations are ongoing into the cause of the fire. So far, he said that reports of downed powerlines in the area where the fire started have not been verified. There was evidence of downed telecom lines, which Pelle said would have generated reports of downed lines but could not have started the fire.

Investigators are actively looking into tips, including at least one resulting in a search warrant. Pelle said criminal charges are possible if it is determined human negligence was involved.

RELATED: Deputies execute search warrant in investigation of Marshall Fire

The Marshall Fire was first reported just after 11 a.m. Thursday in the area of South Foothills Highway and Marshall Road. It has burned 6,219 acres and hundreds of homes as of Friday morning.

The perimeter of the fire can be seen in the map below.

Credit: InciWeb
Fire boundary as of Friday morning.

Evacuation centers

An emergency call center for Boulder County residents is at 303-413-7730. This phone line is primarily for evacuees in need of assistance. 

Multiple evacuation centers have been set up for evacuated residents and their pets. 

> List of evacuation centers

Hospital evacuations

All patients have been transferred out of Avista Adventist Hospital in Louisville to other local hospitals.

A patient and associate line has been established for inquiries about loved ones who were at Avista. Call 303-661-1848.

Good Samaritan Medical Center in Lafayette said they transferred about 54 of their most critical patients to other SCL Health facilities. Those transfers began when the fire got within three blocks of the hospital. Family members of the affected patients are being notified.

RELATED: Staff fight fires as dozens evacuated at nursing homes, medical facilities across Boulder County

Two fires reported

Pelle said crews responded to two separate fires in Boulder County Thursday. 

The first fire, the Middle Fork Fire, was reported just before 10:30 a.m. in the area of North Foothills Highway and Middle Fork Road. That fire has been laid down, with no structures lost.

The second fire, the Marshall Fire, was reported just after 11 a.m. in the area of South Foothills Highway and Marshall Road. That fire spread rapidly to the east, Pelle said, forcing tens of thousands of evacuations. 

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Boulder said in a tweet that a gust of 110 mph was reported in the area of Highway 93 and Colorado 72 at about 11:30 a.m. 


Highway closures

U.S. 36 reopened in Boulder County around 2 p.m. Friday, though the McCaslin exits were still closed, according to Boulder OEM.

Eastbound CO 170 is closed between Senda Rocosa (near Boulder) and Sycamore Street (Superior). 

For up-to-date highway conditions, monitor maps.cotrip.org.


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