Authorities hope snow, weaker winds help get Colorado wildfires under control
Colorado authorities are hoping that weaker winds and snowfall on Friday will help to get the massive wildfire burning through the state’s northern region under control.
The fire has burned hundreds of homes in Boulder County and forced hundreds of thousands of residents to flee. The blaze has spread out across 6,000 acres, according to officials, with no further growth expected as of Friday.
Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said in a press briefing midday Friday that no casualties have been reported so far and one missing person reported last night has been accounted for, calling it “miraculous.” While the fire is currently considered zero percent contained, it is not expected to grow much more.
“We are fortunate that the winds dissipated last night. We’re expecting snow today, that snow has already started. We’re hoping to see 3 to 6 inches of snow and some good moisture. That’s certainly going to help our efforts,” Pelle said.
“As long as the weather holds up here, there’s not gonna be substantial additional damage from this fire,” said Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D).
— Wendy (@wendybco) December 30, 2021
According to Pelle, there are about 2,000 homes in the “burnt area,” but “certainly” not all homes in the area were burned. He estimated that at least “500 or more” homes were lost in the blaze.
The sheriff warned that it is still too dangerous in many areas for residents to return to their homes.
“This was a disaster in fast-motion all over the course of half a day. … Many families having minutes, minutes, to get whatever they could, their pets, their kids into the car and leave. The last 24 hours have been devastating. It’s really unimaginable. It’s hard to talk about,” Polis said.
Polis added Friday that President Biden has called and offered his support for Colorado and also gave verbal approval for a Major Disaster Declaration, which will allow residents affected by the fire to receive assistance without having to wait for the preliminary damage assessment for housing and small businesses.
“This hit close to home for so many of this, literally in some cases for those of us who live nearby. But also in terms of this being a fire that wasn’t a wildfire in the forest, it was a suburban and urban fire,” Polis said. “Nearly a thousand homes in two very tight-knit, beautiful communities in our state has are gone.”
This video was taken by BPD Patrol Officers in Superior…E of US-36…this afternoon. Our thoughts are with our neighbors tonight who lost their homes and businesses. We continue to assist our law enforcement and fire partners as necessary. #MarshallFire #MiddleForkFire pic.twitter.com/ceydZAAfEM
— Broomfield Police (@BroomfieldPD) December 31, 2021
A boiled water advisory has been issued for the towns of Louisville and Superior due to a loss of water pressure in the area, a situation that could potentially lead to contamination. Residents are advised to boil any water used for home use for at least one minute and allow it to cool before using.