Snow Dumping On CO Wildfires | 4

Published Friday, December 31, 2021, 1830 MT

INCIDENT SUMMARY

MARSHALL and MIDDLE FORK FIRES burning in Superior (Boulder County), Colorado which ignited on Thursday, December 30th, after several powerlines came down and made contact with dry grass. The grass fires had turned into several wildfires with extreme fire behavior, which had wind-driven runs, spotting, and a fast rate of spread. The winds have died down and Officials are assessing the damage. Some fire remains in parts of the City.

May be an image of 4 people
Credit: Security FD

The MIDDLE FORK FIRE is located on the north side of Boulder and the MARSHALL FIRE is near South Cherryvale Road and Marshall Drive and south of Boulder. It is also located 7.3 miles WNW of Denver, Colorado.

The Incident # is 2021-COBLX-000995.

CAUSE

The initial cause is still being investigated by the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office stopping the public speculation that power lines knocked by winds and igniting grass were the leading ignition point but the power company says no power lines are in the area where the fire originated.

SIGNIFICANT EVENTS

  • Windspeeds in some areas as high as 105 mph
  • Powerlines downed then lit grass on fire in two large areas
  • Thousands evacuated from Superior, Louisville and other areas in Boulder County, Colorado
  • As many as 500 homes and up to as high as 1,000 not including commercial buildings

INCIDENT COOPERATORS

Emergency Management – Boulder County OEM.

Emergency Services – Centura Avista Adventist Hospital.

Fire Service – West Metro Fire and Rescue, Denver FD, Loveland FRA, Louisville Fire District, Yoder VFD, Security FD,

Government – City of Louisville, City of Superior, CO Gov. Polis, POTUS Biden, Colorado National Guard.

Human Services – American Red Cross.

Credit: Red Cross

Law Enforcement – Boulder County SO, Arvada PD, U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, Louisville PD.

Infrastructure – CO DOT,

MESSAGE BOARD

Animal Rescue

Fill out a form on the Boulder County OEM site to report a missing or lost pet. https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/add48738c8fa4ace846f3a9e3d3a5dd1

Boulder County Emergency Call Center – Phone #303-413-7730. Closed at 2000 hours MT due to a low call volume. Will reopen on Saturday at 0900 hours, January 1, 2022.

Boil Water Order for Superior

There is a BOIL WATER order in effect for Town of Superior, City of Louisville, San Souci Mobile Home Park, East Boulder County Water District, Eldorado Artesian Spring water users. Please see the information below. You should not drink any tap water without boiling it. Go to the OEM’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BoulderOEM for further instructions. (Source: Boulder Co OEM)

Broomfield Detention Center

11600 Ridge Pkwy in Broomfield is in the mandatory evacuation area. Inmates who moved to another facility on December 30, 2021, are safe. This facility is closed, unstaffed and phones are not being answered.

Physical Donations

Go to website https://bouldercounty.wufoo.com/forms/donations/ and click on “Donate items to the Marshall Fire”

Monetary Donations

Go to this website and click on the “Cash Donations” tab. https://www.boulderoem.com/emergency-status/

Donations – Community Foundation of Boulder County has set up the Boulder County Wildfire Fund for people wanting to donate in relation to the #MarshallFire and #MiddleForkFire to respond to immediate and long-term needs as they emerge. https://www.commfound.org/…/Boulder-County-Wildfire-Fund

Credit | Michelle Ford FB, ICU Nurse at Centura Avista Adventist Hospital

Donate your Time – https://coloradoresponds.communityos.org/ – Colorado Division of Homeland Security. Fill out a volunteer form.

Emergency Alert System Information

Sign up for emergency alerts. https://member.everbridge.net/453003085612231/login This is the 911 Emergency page that is supported by the City of Longmont Dept. of Public Safety, Boulder County Sheriff Office, Boulder Police, and the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado.

Evacuation Updates

https://www.boulderoem.com/urgent-request-stay-away-from-evacuation-areas/ (Source: Boulder County OEM)

Lodging – Boulder Adventure Lodge in Boulder states they can provide temporary housing for those who have been evacuated. Dogs welcome. The lobby is closed until Monday. Contact them via Instagram or Facebook page. (Posted 12/31/2021 1311 PT)

North Boulder Rec Center

Closed as an evacuation shelter. A few people who used the facility and are still remaining will be relocated to other shelters. The COVD positive evac shelter is for adults only. OEM is working on establishing a family COVID shelter soon and will post the address and location of the new shelter.

Power Outages – Xcel Energy

https://www.outagemap-xcelenergy.com/outagemap/

Pubilc Information Map

https://bouldercounty.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=13ab214fe2bb4da5a850df0ca0f00fc5

Space Heaters

To pick up an electric heater, please stop by the Red Cross shelter at YMCA in Lafayette at 2800 Dagny Way, or at the Boulder YWCA at 2222 14th St. between 0800 – 2000 MT (Source: Boulder County OEM)

YMCA Donations

The Boulder OEM Office is asking folks NOT to take donations to the Lafayette Center as they are seriously overwhelmed. Please use the link to donate or request items https://bouldercounty.wufoo.com/forms/donations/ No housing requests at this site.

FIRE RESPONSE

Current Fire Status

Snow is falling in various areas where fires had impacted communities and areas, which is welcome but it is also bringing challenges. Fire transitioned over to a Federal Type 1 response with the Boulder County OEM as the lead agency. (as of 1312 MT).

As one who knows, we have covered a lot of wildfires, brush and grass fires over the last ten years, and when the media or others are complaining because firefighters are not going to head of the fire to stop it is ridiculous and absolutely dangerous. Why do we say this? Because when the winds are blowing up to 105 mph this not only puts firefighters’ lives in danger but is endangering the resources deployed to stop this fire safely and effectively.

Generally, wildland firefighters are fighting from the left and right flanks to the heel of the fire and then when it is safe to do, so the head of the fire. This was not your atypical brush /wildfire but more or less a firestorm burning up everything in its path. It was just like those in California, where it had been an unstoppable freight train.

KUDOS to all those who helped put out major fires and to hospital workers at Centura Avista Adventist Hospital for stopping the fire from impacting their major outdoor oxygen tanks that could have decimated their facility, killing citizens and staff to saving their building and lives around them. – Ed.

Posted 1725 MT | Credit: West Metro Fire Rescue

Fire Resources

Loveland Fire RFD had E433 released from the Marshall Fire, as it has been deployed on this incident for the last 26 hours. E52 has been released for the night back to quarters but will be returning in the morning and back on the fire ground.

Yoder Volunteer Fire Department sent one engine with three firefighters on Friday to the Marshall Fire. (YVFD posted 1614 MT)

Security FD dispatched E114 and a crew of four, one of several units from El Paso County and Colorado Springs deployed as mutual aid to assist Superior and Louisville areas.

(c) 2021 NW Fire Blog