Colorado Fire Live Updates: High Wind Warnings Canceled, Bringing Some Relief

Live Updates
  • A massive inferno continues to engulf Boulder County, Colorado and has already become the most destructive wildfire in the state's history.
  • The fire is thought to have been started by downed power lines, along with a combination of wind gusts over 100 MPH and widespread drought.
  • Over 500 homes have already been destroyed, and the fire has grown to cover at least 1,600 acres.
  • No deaths have been reported from the fire, although at least six people have been injured.
  • Multiple areas have been evacuated, and all 13,000 people in the town of Superior have been forced to flee.
  • Efforts to extinguish the blaze are being assisted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the American Red Cross, and a number of other parties, with FEMA pledging to pay at least 75 percent of the costs of the firefighting.
  • Officials expressed hope that a forecasted snowstorm Thursday evening into Friday would help to quell the spread of the fire.

The live updates for this blog have ended.

High wind warnings canceled, bringing some relief

The wind appears to have calmed down in Boulder County for the time being, although fire and heat levels within the zone of the wildfire remain extremely high.

The National Weather Service stated that they had canceled their High Wind Warnings. However, it stated in a tweet that "gusty/variable winds" still remained.

Previously, wind gusts had been registered in Boulder County up to 115 MPH, which was cited as a major contributing factor to the quick spread of the fire.

However, the area was not out of the woods yet, as the fire continues to cause massive damage as the night falls.

Satellite imagery from over 22,000 miles up in outer space showed the significant heat patterns that still remained in the county.

As the inferno continues and firefighters continue to battle the blaze, the slowing winds, along with a snowy weather forecast heading into Friday, could bring the area some much-needed relief.

Photo shows house that is "gone" in 20 minutes

A photo posted on social media showed a house that had been completely engulfed by the Boulder County wildfire within the span of 20 minutes.

The image, posted on Twitter by KUSA-TV reporter Kyle Clark, showed that the house, located in Louisville, was totally covered by a mountain of flames. The inferno appeared to be stretching out beyond the house as well.

The house had been completely untouched by fire just 20 minutes before the picture was taken, according to Clark.

Two figures can be seen standing outside the home, watching it go up. It is unknown if these were the owners of the house or just random pedestrians.

The town where the house once stood, Louisville, was one of the hardest hit by the Boulder County fire. The home was just one of at least 600 houses throughout the 1,600 acre blaze that were destroyed by flames.

Many homes in Louisville appeared to have suffered a similar fate.

A video posted on Twitter by the account US StormWatch showed an entire row of dwellings in a single neighborhood that had been engulfed by the fire.

Many of these homes appeared to have been burned beyond repair, and thick black smoke could be seen billowing high into the air.

Photo taken from Denver shows smoke from fire 25 miles away

A picture posted to Twitter on Thursday showed smoke billowing from the Boulder County wildfire from approximately 25 miles away in Denver.

The photo, taken in Denver's Capitol Hill neighborhood near the state capital building, was posted online by photographer Stuart Palley. It shows what appears to be a mountain of haze covering the skies above the city, blanketing the air in a cloud of smoke.

The main area of the fire in Boulder County has already destroyed over 600 homes and is the most destructive wildfire in Colorado history.

Numerous other photos were posted on social media that showed the devastating effects of the fire.

FEMA to pay 75 percent of firefighting costs

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced Thursday evening that it would be covering 75 percent of the firefighting costs associated with battling the Boulder County wildfire.

FEMA "approved the state's request for a federal Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) after...determining that the fire threatened such destruction that it would constitute a major disaster," the agency said in a press release.

"The authorization makes FEMA funding available to pay 75 percent of the state's eligible firefighting costs under an approved grant for managing, mitigating and controlling designated fires."

At the time that the state of Colorado had requested FEMA's aid, the fire had already destroyed a reported 100 homes and was 1,000 acres in size. The blaze has since grown to at least 1,600 acres.

Officials had also determined that an additional 5,000 homes were at risk from the fire.

While individual homeowners and businesses are not eligible to receive an FMAG grant, FEMA noted that such people may request alternative federal assistance.

Marshall fire already most destructive in Colorado history

The Marshall fire in Boulder County is reportedly the most devastating wildfire in Colorado history by the number of homes lost.

At least 600 homes and businesses throughout a number of neighborhoods were consumed by the fire, according to a report from the Colorado Sun, and an additional six people were injured.

No deaths have been reported thus far. However, "given the ferocity and scope of this fire, it would not surprise me if we find casualties," said Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle.

Jesse Aaron Paul, a reporter for the Sun, stated on Twitter that he'd covered "countless wildfires and I have never seen anything like this."

"Wildfires -- at least in Colorado -- generally don't spread like this through developed areas," Paul continued. "Think of any suburban neighborhood where you live. That's what burned today."

One neighborhood in the town of Superior, Sagamore, has already lost 370 homes, according to Pelle. Additional neighborhoods may end up seeing hundreds more homes destroyed by the time the inferno is extinguished.

Here's how you can help Marshall fire victims

A number of sites have been set up for good samaritans to donate to victims of the Boulder County wildfire.

The Boulder Office of Emergency Management has set up new links on its website which allows people to make monetary donations. The office also set up a link for residents of the area to request a rescue for their pets.

Video from local Home Depot shows hazy conditions as people evacuate

Amateur video taken from inside a Boulder County Home Depot showed the extreme haze and smoke that blew through the area as evacuations were ordered.

The video, posted on Twitter by KMGH-TV, shows thick, heavy smoke billowing across what appears to be a mostly empty parking lot, although a small number of cars remained.

A number of voices could be heard, indicating that there were likely multiple people still inside the store. At least one vehicle could be seen pulling away from the parking lot.

It is unclear what specific town the Home Depot was located in, although the entire city of Superior was ordered evacuated on Thursday afternoon.

The haze throughout the area was exacerbated by significant winds, with reported gusts up to 150 MPH. This, combined with the significant drought in the region, caused a 1,600 acre wildfire that engulfed much of Boulder County.

Xcel Energy to institute rolling blackouts due to fire

Xcel Energy is instituting a series of rolling blackouts in order to deal with power outages from the massive Boulder County wildfire.

Journalist Chris Vanderveen tweeted an image of an emergency alert from Xcel that stated the company would be "conducting rolling blackouts throughout the night due to extreme wildfire activity."

"[The blackouts] will last for one hour at a time and it is unknown how long the blackouts will be necessary," the tweet continued.

A news report attached to the tweet also stated that "Xcel Energy crews are working with fire officials to determine when it is safe to access our facilities and ultimately return service to normal levels."

Xcel encouraged customers to limit their power usage and turn off unneeded appliances and electronics in order to conserve energy.

The rolling blackouts come as the company reported that at least 28,000 of their customers in the Denver metropolitan area had lost power due to downed power lines.

Rep. Joe Neguse working to get more federal recovery resources

Representative Joe Neguse (D-Colo.) said Thursday evening that he was working with Colorado Governor Jared Polis in an attempt to secure additional federal resources to fight the Boulder County wildfire.

"The devastation in Boulder County tonight is utterly heartbreaking," Neguse wrote in a tweet. "We are in close contact with @GovofCO & working to secure Federal recovery resources."

"Please keep everyone in our community in your thoughts, and pray for the firefighters sacrificing so much to keep us safe," Neguse continued.

In addition to Neguse's efforts, Governor Polis declared a state of emergency earlier Thursday due to the uncontrolled spread of the wildfire. Additional resources have already begun to pour into the state, as Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle stated that the American Red Cross was on the scene to help.

Mandatory evacuations expand to include Interlocken area

Mandatory evacuations of the city of Broomfield continue to expand, and now includes multiple large areas.

As of 6 p.m. MT, there was a "MANDATORY EVAC for everyone S of US-36 to 112th and West of Wads," according to a tweet from the Broomfield Police Department. This also included Interlocken, a large neighborhood in central Broomfield.

A number of pre-evacuation orders were also underway for other areas in Broomfield, such as Via Varra and Skystone. This includes steps taken to prepare for evacuation, including gathering up essential supplies, medicines and pet supplies, according to police.

Winter storm forecast, calming winds could help douse flames

A combination of an upcoming winter storm and winds that appear to be slowing could help Colorado firefighters in their efforts to battle the Boulder County wildfire.

A winter storm warning for Thursday night into Friday could prove to be a significant deterrent to the fire, which has reportedly been exacerbated by a widespread drought in the area. The storm has the potential to dump several inches of wet snow on Boulder County.

"We're going to thankfully see rapidly changing weather conditions," National Weather Service meteorologist Bruno Rodriguez told USA Today. "We've been waiting for this snow for a while, and it couldn't have come at a better time."

Additionally, the raging winds, which at one point were reported to be over 100 MPH, seemed to be slowing in certain areas.

One local reporter, Jesse Aaron Paul of the Colorado Sun, tweeted a video of his neighborhood, stating that while "fire is lighting up the night," it appeared that "winds are calmer" and "less smoke" could be seen.

The slowing winds, combined with the potential for heavy snow, could soon spell the end of the nightmare for Boulder County residents.

Downed power lines suspected cause of fire

Boulder County, Colorado Sheriff Joe Pelle stated that a series of downed power lines were the suspected cause of the 1,600 acre wildfire in his county.

While this has not been officially confirmed as the cause of the inferno, Pelle told reporters during a press conference that "preliminarily the reports were downed power lines. So we believe that's the cause of the fire."

There were reportedly a number of power lines that had been blown down by strong winds throughout Boulder County. Xcel Energy reported that at least 28,000 people in the Denver metropolitan area had lost power as a result.

The widespread drought in the area, combined with the ferocious winds, was also noted to be behind the growth of the wildfire.

Fire grows to 1,600 acres, over 500 homes destroyed

Boulder County, Colorado Sheriff Joe Pelle stated in a press conference that the wildfire engulfing his county has grown to approximately 1,600 acres in size.

Additionally, Pelle gave reporters an updated estimate of the number of residential homes that had been lost to the inferno.

"We know that approximately 370 homes in the Sagamore subdivision...have been lost with the potential of 210 homes in old town Superior," Pelle stated, bringing the total number of estimated houses destroyed to nearly 600.

Pelle added that "the Element Hotel in Superior [was] fully engulfed."

Previous reporting from the mayor of Superior stated that at least 100 homes in his city had been destroyed, with more estimated to go up in flames as the wildfire continued to move across the city.

Separate recovery area being set up for COVID-positive evacuees

The sheriff of Boulder County, Colorado stated that a separate area has been set up for evacuating residents that are COVID-positive.

Sheriff Joe Pelle stated during a press conference that "evacuees who are COVID-positive are asked to go to the COVID-19 recovery center at the Mount Calvary Lutheran Church."

An estimation of the number of COVID-positive cases among the evacuees was not given.

The sheriff added that his office was working with the American Red Cross to establish overnight shelters for evacuees.

Numerous towns and subdivisions, including the entire city of Superior, were forced to evacuate as the flames and raging winds caused the wildfires to spiral out of control Thursday afternoon.

Louisville hospital evacuates all patients, staff due to fires

A Louisville hospital caught in the middle of the Boulder County, Colorado wildfires has evacuated all of its patients and staff as the raging flames continued to creep closer.

Centura Health tweeted that "we are currently evacuating all patients and staff from Avista Adventist Hospital." The tweet added that a hotline has been established for family members of those within the hospital to inquire about loved ones.

It had previously been reported hours earlier that the hospital's evacuation had already begun, according to a series of tweets from someone who stated they had a family member who worked there.

However, the confirmation that the evacuation was underway was only confirmed just after 4:15 p.m. MT.

Bottleneck has delayed escape for some residents

As the town of Superior, Colorado was forced to completely evacuate amidst raging wildfires, a bottleneck occurred as the entire community attempted to flee the area.

All of the town's 13,000 residents were funneled out through only three roads, according to a report from the Colorado Sun. This caused massive delays in getting out of the area.

One resident told a reporter from the Sun that it took her "20 minutes to drive one mile. It took an hour and 15 minutes to get to her friend's house in Broomfield – six miles away."

This issue with evacuating the area is reportedly a concern that has been had among residents of Superior before, especially among those who live near heavily wooded areas.

As the flames continued and at least 100 homes in Superior were already destroyed, the fires continued to make their way across the town.

Superior mayor estimates "hundreds of homes" have already been destroyed

As wildfires continued to batter Boulder County, Colorado, the mayor of Superior, Clint Folsom, estimated that "hundreds of homes" have already been lost to the infernos.

The entire town of Superior was also evacuated on Thursday afternoon, forcing its approximately 13,000 residents to flee for their lives.

With no sign of the fires stopping, officials are continuing to try and contain the fire. However, it was estimated that more buildings and homes may continue to be engulfed as the fire moves through the town.

Extremely fast wind gusts up to 100 MPH were fueling the blaze, also contributing to the flames rapidly moving across the drought-stricken area.

Power outage leaves 28,000 in dark

People throughout the Denver metropolitan area lost power Thursday evening as raging wildfires and rapid winds continue to wreak havoc across Boulder County.

A tweet from local meteorologists stated that Xcel Energy had reported 28,000 people without power. A majority of these outages, 21,000, were within Boulder County.

This equated to around 15 percent of suburban households within the county, according to the meteorologists.

Local officials stated that fast-moving winds, combined with downed power lines, may have been a contributing factor to the start of the fires.

No timeline for the return of power has been identified by local officials, but a tweet from Xcel Energy Colorado stated that "crews are working to safely restore power as quickly as possible as high winds are causing outages."

Strong winds feed flames, spurring more evacuations

Strong winds throughout Boulder County, Colorado continue to feed the flames of massive wildfires in the area. This has prompted ongoing evacuations of major residential areas.

AccuWeather reported wind gusts in Rocky Flats, Colorado as high as 105 MPH, and KMGH-TV meteorologist Mike Nelson said that 115 MPH gusts also swept through the area.

Nearby Crisman, Colorado reportedly saw similar high winds, with 102 MPH gusts being registered.

Additional wind gusts anywhere from 90 to 100 MPH were seen in other suburbs across Boulder County, as the flames continued to engulf entire structures.

This caused continuing evacuations of numerous areas throughout the county, and the city of Superior has been ordered to flee entirely.

Flames quickly move toward homes, destroy buildings

CBS4 Denver reporter Alan Gionet reports more than 300 homes have burned as multiple wildfires tear through Boulder County.

CBS4 Denver reporter Jeff Todd is shown reporting as flames move close to Avista Hospital which was evacuated Thursday afternoon.

Remote file

CBS4 Denver Meteorologist Chris Spears tweeted a photo showing flames destroying buildings in Superior.

The Denver Post tweeted a video from photographer Helen Richardson showing flames being fueled by strong winds outside of Superior.

During a phone interview, Broomfield Police Spokesperson Rachel Haslett told CBS4 Denver there are no reports of any property loss in Broomfield, as of 4 p.m. local time.

Multiple people show up to hospital for fire injuries

UC Health Broomfield Hospital reported it has received six patients who need medical treatment for fire-related injuries, according to FOX Denver.

The extent of those injuries has not been disclosed.

State of emergency declared as fires tear through Boulder County

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis declared a state of emergency Thursday afternoon due to the wildfires burning through Boulder County.

"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," a news release from the governor's office reads.

Video shows people inside a Chuck E Cheese watching the fire burn outside

A video captured fires with wind gusts of 110 mph raging outside of a Superior, Colorado, Chuck E. Cheese.

People were seen frantically running to their cars into cloudy smoke to escape the fast-moving fire in Boulder County.

Pre-evacuation orders issued for several Broomfield apartments, hotels

Broomfield Police have issued pre-evacuation orders impacting a handful of apartments and hotels as the Marshall Fire continues to burn.

The orders impact: Caliber at Flatirons Apartments, Retreat at Flatirons Apartments, Terracina of Broomfield Apartments, Vantage Point Apartments, Holiday Inn Express, and the Hyatt House in Broomfield.

Broomfield Police are urging residents to gather essentials like prescriptions, medical supplies, pet supplies, important papers and alert neighbors.

A shelter is open at the FirstBank Center in Broomfield for residents of nearby cities that have been evacuated and for residents of Broomfield should evacuations be deemed mandatory.

Where to go and what to include in evacuation bag, according to emergency officials

Emergency officials are sharing important information about "To Go Kits" and evacuation centers, as thousands of people are evacuating cities in Colorado due to wildfires.

Several evacuation centers have been established in Superior and Boulder County, including the North Boulder Recreational Center, Lafayette YMCA and the Longmont Senior Center.

A power outage at the South Boulder Recreational Center forced its closure. That evacuation center was shifted to the North Boulder center.

There is also an animal evacuation site at the Boulder County Fairgrounds. The Boulder Office of Emergency Management asks that people enter through the Humane Society entrance on Nelson Road.

Additionally, Broomfield opened a shelter at the FirstBank Center. Some areas of Broomfield are under pre-evacuation orders for preparation, but no mandatory evacuations have been ordered.

Emergency officials are sharing what evacuees should including in their "Go Bags."

Items include medications, cash, cell phone chargers, small blankets, a few pairs of clothes, water, and important documents like birth certificates.

'Avoid Avista Hospital' as crews battle Marshall Fire

Avista Adventist Hospital in Louisville is asking the public to avoid the hospital as crews battle the Marshall Fire nearby.

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"We are closely monitoring the #MarshallFire that is burning in the Louisville and Superior communities in the vicinity of Centura Avista Adventist Hospital," the hospital wrote in a Facebook post.

"Our leaders are in close contact with local officials as they work to get the fire under control. We have the appropriate air filters in our facility, and our caregivers are compassionately caring for patients. We will post additional information as we learn more."

There are multiple reports on Twitter saying Avista Hospital has evacuated its patients.

Louisville, CO ordered to evacuate

Fire command has ordered the city of Louisville, Colorado, to evacuate amid the growing wildfires and strong winds, according to the Boulder Office of Emergency Management.

"If you are in the area, please leave quickly. Please evacuate to the east if possible," the Louisville Police Department said in a tweet.

Power lines and transformers down after several small grass fires spark

According to the Boulder County Sheriff's Office, power lines are down and transformers are blowing out due to several small grass fires.

Thousands of people are reportedly without power and authorities have also closed roads near the fires.

Boulder is requesting law enforcement officers to the dispatch center to help triage 911 calls reporting trapped and missing people.

Video shows people evacuating building into high winds, smoke

A video shows people being evacuated out of a store as wildfires move through Colorado.

As people make their way outside, smoke and strong winds made visibility difficult.

Entire town of Superior, CO told to evacuate

The entire town of Superior, Colorado, has been evacuated after at least three wildfires broke out Thursday. The town has a population of 12,000 people.

Additionally, parts of Louisville, Colorado, have been evacuated.

Residents in the area are told to evacuate if they see fire.

"Go east, go north, but leave immediately," the Boulder Office of Emergency Management said.