A man who was missing and feared dead in the Marshall fire was found alive, Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle announced Sunday.

Authorities said the man was "alive and well" during an afternoon briefing. The search for two others, a woman from Louisville and a man from the Marshall area, continued with the assistance of cadaver dogs. 

"The scenes are still hot, deep in debris, hot debris and deep in snow, so it's a very difficult task, but we're continuing to try and locate those folks," Pelle said.

The blaze that ignited Thursday morning has become the most destructive fire in the state's history as nearly 1,000 homes and businesses have been destroyed and countless others damaged. As of Sunday evening, the fire was 74% contained after growing to 6,219 acres.


LOUISVILLE, CO - JANUARY 2: Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, center, talks with Louisville Mayor Ashley Stolzmann, right, during a tour of the Marshall Fire burn area in Louisville on Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022. The current estimate of destroyed structures is 991, while 127 structures are damaged according to Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle. (Matthew Jonas/Boulder Daily Camera/Pool)

Around 1,600 people remained without power Sunday after roughly 100,000 people lost electric service because of the fire, wind and snowstorm in recent days, said Alice Jackson, the president of Xcel Energy Colorado, during an afternoon news conference.  

Jackson said about 1,000 of the customers without power were in the burn area, while another 600 were in more mountainous areas. Power was expected to be returned to customers outside of the burn zone on Sunday night.

While electric service has returned to most homes, restoring gas services was taking much longer as crews must go to each home to restore the service, Jackson said. 

As of Sunday afternoon, the company restored gas to 1,400 people, and Jackson said she anticipates service to be fully restored to everyone by Tuesday evening. 

"We are working diligently and very hard to make sure that we restore that service safely and reliably," Jackson said.

Earlier Sunday, a news conference was held after Gov. Jared Polis; Deanne Criswell, head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency; U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet; and other members of the state's congressional delegation toured the impacted areas.

Criswell, a former firefighter and emergency manager in Aurora, said she'd seen pictures and videos of the impact zone before returning to Colorado, but they "don't even come close to what you see when you go look at it in person."

"To come back home to this is shocking," Criswell said. "To see this firsthand really lets us know the amount of destruction that is here."

Polis described seeing vehicles that were burned to a crisp in the fire. While some were in garages, others were left in the middle of the streets.

"You can only (imagine) what happened," Polis said. 

Investigators still have not determined what caused the fire. Pelle on Sunday said investigators were aware of a video on social media of a burning shed in the area where the fire ignited, but he said it's too early to know if the fire started there.

"We don't know that that shed or anything around it was the actual start of the fire, or it was secondary," Pelle said. "It's complicated and it's all covered in a foot of snow."

A disaster assistance center will open Monday to assist those impacted by the blaze by offering help with filing claims for property loss, as well as providing financial and food assistance, mental health support and transportation.

The center will be in Lafayette at the Boulder County Southeast County Hub, 1755 S. Public Road, and will operate from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day.

Residents should contact their insurance providers, whether it be automobile or homeowners insurance, before filing for additional assistance. 

The U.S. Small Business Administration has made several loans available to impacted residents for property damage not covered by insurance and for other property lost inside their home. Residents would be eligible for up to $37,000 of assistance to cover damages not covered by insurance, said Criswell. 

"We are well-versed in disaster response here in Boulder County, having dealt with multiple fires and floods and a pandemic over the past decade. And we live in a generous community and have strong, enduring partnerships, so we know we will get through this challenge as well and help our neighbors rebound and rebuild," Susan Caskey, interim co-director of Boulder County Housing and Human Services, said in a news release. 

Criswell said local, state and federal officials were working to determine the best solution to house those impacted by the blaze and were considering a number of "tools in the toolbox," including RVs.

"We need to determine what the right tools are going to be for these communities," Criswell said. "Every individual is going to have a different and unique need, and so we really need to make sure for the long-term strategy that we understand what those needs are, but work on the short-term strategy of giving everybody some temporary place to stay." 

Officials reiterated it's a miracle more people weren't missing, hurt or dead.

"Two people missing out of 35,000 people evacuated, unbelievable," said U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, who toured the area Sunday. "The efforts of these people cannot be understated in dealing with the power of this fire. When you go through there and you see the burned out husks of cars and trucks, and steel lamp posts bent over because of the heat, it's remarkable more people weren't hurt."

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