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Tow trucks begin removing more than 1,300 vehicles destroyed in the Marshall Fire

Phase 2 of Boulder County's debris removal process started Friday in the Sagamore subdivision of Superior.

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — Tow truck drivers in Boulder County started work Friday morning to clear neighborhoods of more than 1,300 burned cars left behind after the Marshall Fire. 

"That's quite a few," said Andrew Barth, spokesperson for Boulder County Public Works.

At last count, Barth said 1,381 vehicles were destroyed in the fire on Dec. 30. Some were parked in driveways or inside garages, but many were left on neighborhood streets.

The fire melted hubcaps and turned leather interiors into ash. The remnants of dozens of vehicles remained in the Sagamore neighborhood of Superior on Friday.

Crews, contracted by the county, started clearing the streets in Sagamore as part of Phase 2 of the debris removal process. 

"Vehicles, trailers, trees, you know, anything that is blocking that access to those private homes, so we can get in there and start cleaning those out ASAP," Barth said.

The vehicles removed from neighborhoods will go into temporary storage at a secure facility for a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) clearing process, Barth said. 

Vehicle owners and their insurance companies can request access to look at vehicles by emailing ROE@bouldercounty.org or calling 303-214-3203.

Boulder County Public Works will oversee right of way removal work, which will happen in zones. Here's a map of the zones and the order of the work by neighborhood: 

  1. Sagamore (S1)
  2. Old Town Superior (S2)
  3. Harper Lake (L1)
  4. Mulberry (L3)
  5. Rock Creek (S3)
  6. Coal Creek (L4)
  7. The Enclave (L2)
  8. Davidson Mesa (U1)

Barth said removing vehicles from Superior and Louisville could take up to a month.

“It’s going to take some time, but we will work daily, every day, to make sure people can get home as soon as possible and start their rebuilding process," Barth said.

Clearing streets is one of the first steps of a process that will be a long road to recovery.

“Be patient with us and we will get there together,” Barth said.

After vehicles are cleared from streets, Phase 2b of the removal process will begin at the curbsides of fire-damaged homes.

Crews will collect things like fencing, patio furniture, trampolines and sizeable vegetative waste from properties that have minimal fire damage in their yards, according to a release from Boulder County.

Crews will not be able to collect ash or bagged refuse, the release said. The county has yet to set a date for the start of Phase 2b. 

Phase 3 will involve clearing debris from individual properties destroyed by the fire. Boulder County encourages people to complete a Right of Entry Form to opt-in or out of the county's debris removal program.

The deadline to opt-in or out of the program is 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 26.

You can learn more about the county's plans for debris removal by visiting https://boco.org/marshall-debris-cleanup or calling the debris hotline at 303-214-3203.

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

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