The Marshall fire swept through southeast Boulder County Thursday, destroying hundreds of homes and forcing tens of thousands of people to evacuate. On Friday, crews are trying to get ahead of the blaze and assess the damage.

3:51 p.m. 

Officials with the Boulder County Sheriff's Office confirmed Saturday that  nearly 1,000 structures were destroyed in the Marshall fire. To be exact, 991 structures were destroyed with another 127 damaged. 553 were destroyed in Louisville, 332 in Superior and 106 in unincorporated Adams county.  Read more here.

Also, read the incredible story of Claire Adaline Day who was born as the wildfire reached the hospital. 

1:52 p.m.

The evacuation order for Louisville remains min place, but a partial re-entry is expected later today. The boil water notice is also still in effect. Click or tap here for more information on proper water usage.

1:34 p.m.

Town of Superior residents who live north of Rock Creek Parkway are now able to return to their homes.

11:07 a.m.

Two people are still believed to be missing in the wake of the Boulder County fires, a county spokeswoman confirmed Saturday morning.

County officials previously said no one was missing after the fires ripped through Superior and Louisville on Thursday. Emergency responders received "hundreds of calls" in the last two days about people potentially missing, spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill said. They've been working since to pare those down, she said, and only two have been confirmed as of last night.

She said she did not have identities, whereabouts, or when the two missing people were last seen.

Read more here.

10:56 a.m.

The University of Colorado-Boulder students will begin this semester online and will return to in-person learning on Jan. 24, the school announced Friday night.

"Because of the impacts of the fires, in combination with concerns about the COVID-19 omicron variant, the broader Boulder area is not in a position to welcome back thousands of students over the next week," chancellor Philip DiStefano wrote in a message to the university community.

Read more here.

10:53 a.m.

President Joe Biden approved a major disaster declaration for Colorado on Saturday, opening up federal funding to support the devastation caused by the Marshall Fire.

The declaration will open up federal disaster assistance for people affected by the fires and for recovery efforts, the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced. The money "can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster."


The town of Superior is shutting off water in the burn areas in order to restore water pressure and prevent pipes from freezing, the Boulder Office of Emergency management announced via Twitter.

9:41 a.m.

The Tivoli Brewing Company is donating 100% of its taphouse proceeds for the ween of Jan. 3-10 to benefit victims of the Marshall fire. The brewery is also offering a free meal and a beer to first responders.

8:22 a.m.

Here's the most recent map of the Marshall fire:

Marshall fire map 010122

Map of the Marshall fire as of the morning of Jan. 1

8:20 a.m.

Here's the most recent map of the evacuation zones. Click or tap here for a higher resolution map.

Marshall fire evacuation zones 010122

9:05 p.m 

9NEWS reports that at least two people are missing in the Marshall fire on Thursday. The sheriff confirmed that two people were missing, but did not provide any further information.  The family of Nadine Turnbull says she is one of the two missing.

Xcel Energy reports that 5,500 customers in the Boulder area are still without power, and about 13,000 customers are without natural gas service. Customers who were not in a restricted access area can expect to have electric service restored by Saturday evening. 

According to Xcel, the natural gas outages are mostly in Superior and Louisville, where natural gas was shut off at the request of public safety officials because of safety concerns related to the wildfire. Read more here. 

6:35 p.m. 

CU Boulder announced Friday night that it will begin the spring semester remotely following the Marshall fire. "By delaying our in-person return until Jan. 24, we are doing our part to support the community. Because of the impacts of the fires, in combination with concerns about the COVID-19 omicron variant, the broader Boulder area is not in a position to welcome back thousands of students over the next week," wrote Chancellor Philip DiStefano in a letter to the campus community.  You can read the letter here.  

5:06 p.m.

56 members of the Colorado National Guard will assist with traffic management during the Marshall Fire response, officials with the organization announced. 

5 p.m.

Boil water orders are in effect for residents of San Souci Mobile Home Park, the East Boulder County Water District and those who use Eldorado Springs water, and remain in place for residents in Louisville and Superior.

4:38 p.m.

State officials today directed health insurance companies to make it easier for patients affected by the Marshall Fire to access their medications.

The Colorado Division of Insurance told insurance companies to waive any prior authorization for prescription refills or medical equipment.

Insurance companies must also wave prior authorization, utilization review, or medical necessity determination for patients transferred or discharged in the fire-affected areas, the agency said.

In a separate statement, the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing noted that, during declared emergencies, affected individuals can get prescription refills even if it is otherwise too early to get a refill.

Officials urged those covered by Medicare to contact their Medicare drug plan to find another network pharmacy nearby if, for some reason, they are unable to go to their usual network pharmacy to replace their prescriptions.

Individuals should also contact their Medicare drug plan if they left home without their medications or if their drugs were damaged or lost because of the fire or during the evacuation, officials said.

4:07 p.m.

Officials with the Boulder County Sheriff's Office announced a partial reopening of evacuated areas. South of Coalton Road in the Town of Superior between CO-128 and Rock Creek Parkway as well as Bell Flatirons Apartments only with access from South Tyler Drive are now open to residents only. 

2:37 p.m.

The Boulder Office of Emergency Management tweeted that U.S. 36 has reopened, but the exits at McCaslin Boulevard remain closed.

2:32 p.m.

The Boulder County Sheriff's Office said people may call 303-413-7730 for general questions and updates on neighborhoods. Do not call 911.

Officials also urged people Friday to stay out of the evacuation areas and adhere to road closures as first responders address active hot spots, downed power lines and trees at risk of falling; conduct property searches; assess damage; and investigate the fire’s cause, officials said Friday.

There are currently no escorted tours of the area.

Incident management teams are also working with utility companies to restore water and gas service to undamaged areas and turn off utilities to damaged areas, the office said, part of efforts to protect homes from freezing temperatures expected Friday night.


Superior, CO - Ariel photos of homes that were destroyed in the Marshall Fire over night. More than 500 homes were destroyed and that number could climb to nearly a 1,000. The fire consumed homes, businesses and even the Element Hotel near Hwy 36 and McCaslin, the hotel is completely gone. (Photo by John Leyba/Air Cam Helicopter Services)

2:18 p.m.

Xcel Energy has restored power to about 80% of affected residents in the area and will work Friday to restore power to approximately 15,000 residents still without it, the company announced on its website. Restoration could take several days, Xcel officials said.

Louisville and Superior residents must now also use bottled water or boil any water to be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes and preparing food until further notice, as officials said issues with water pressure could potentially contaminate the water.


The Boulder Office of Emergency Management has released a report contesting initial rumors and reports saying the Marshall Fire was started by downed power lines. Agency officials say Xcel Energy, a major utilities company, has investigated the area and found no downed power lines but rather communication lines (for telephones, internet, cable etc.) which typically would not start a fire. 


The Boulder Office of Emergency Management announced the closing of the North Boulder Recreation Center Shelter. The open shelters remaining are the Lafayette YMCA and the Rocky Mountain Christian Church south of Longmont. 

The Boulder agency also said it will announce the location of a shelter for COVID-19 positive families soon.


A stunning view of the devastation.

Footage from Gov. Jared Polis's aerial survey of Boulder County the morning after the Marshall fire devastated the area. (Courtesy 9News)


Just before 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Brenda Leighton was browsing online, looking at fireproof cabinets and safes to install inside her home. Forty minutes later, her sister, who lives in Louisville, called and warned her about thick, dark smoke near Leighton’s home. Leighton looked outside, decided to leave and grabbed a handful of items before driving onto a road with little to no visibility.

“I was honking the entire way out hoping that people would hear and to alert other cars because we couldn’t see each other,” Leighton said.

About five and a half hours later, Leighton learned her home of 18 years was among the 370 homes burnt down in the Sagamore neighborhood. Nearly 24 hours later, Leighton remains in shock and doesn’t know if she’s going to stay and rebuild or leave the state entirely.

“(The insurance company) is saying don’t expect the rebuild process to be done quickly,” she said.

Leighton said she will either be living in temporary housing set up by her insurance company, with nearby family members or potentially return to Montana with her parents until her new home is built. But for now, Leighton said she’s just happy to be safe and alive.

“I’m still processing everything that’s happened and I’m not sure what’s in store for me, whether it’s in Colorado or another part of the county,” she said. “But I believe everything will work out.”


Colleen Tingle didn’t sleep for a second on Thursday night. She said her neighbor learned their house was burnt to a crisp on Thursday, and since then Tingle’s been waiting to learn whether her home is standing or destroyed.

After her husband and son woke up from the miniscule amount of sleep they received overnight, the trio headed to an overlook of the southern side of Superior, hoping to learn something, but are still left wondering whether their home for nearly a decade was still standing.

“It’s a 50-50 chance the house is gone,” Tingle said. “We can’t get close, and we’re left with only our thoughts and it’s making me a nervous wreck. I just want to get in there.”

Tingle said she and her family will continue to remain at the overlook and other areas across town to see if they’ll eventually be let in. But until then, they’re left with their thoughts.

“We just want to know what’s going on.”

Tingle said her neighbor was informed that her house was burnt to a crisp on Thursday, and since she’s been anxious and awaiting to hear any news.

As her husband and son awoke from the little sleep they were managed to get, the three drove to an overlook of Superior, hoping to get some news. But she’s still left

Superior smolders

The town of Superior smolders Friday morning after a devastating wildfire swept through on Thursday night.


A few more notes from the 10 a.m. press conference at the Boulder County Sheriff's Office headquarters: 

  • The Marshall Fire has burned 6,000 acres so far. 
  • Fire officials are expecting 3 to 6 inches of snow Friday to help battle the blaze 
  • The Boulder Office of Emergency Management is working on having addresses and status of homes on its web site. In the meantime, people can call 303-413-7730 for general questions and updates on neighborhoods. Do not call 911. 
  • The exact cause of the fire remains unknown but sheriff Joe Pelle said  downed power lines are in the area where the blaze began. 
Polis presser 123121

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis gives a briefing about the Boulder County wildfires from the Boulder County Sheriff's Office Friday morning.


Several law enforcement officers lost their homes while responding to the Marshall Fire, the Colorado Fraternal Order of Police said today.

One officer lost everything “except the uniform he was wearing,” the organization said.

Bill Ray, who speaks for the organization, said it’s unclear how many officers exactly were affected.

“We are still working to assess the full impact,” he told Colorado Politics. “We do believe several law enforcement officers have their lost their homes.”

In a statement, Ray cited a heartbreaking conversation that organization’s leadership had with an officer affected by the fire.

“One officer responding to the fires told state FOP President Steve Schulz and National FOP Trustee Rob Pride that he literally lost everything except the uniform he was wearing,” he said.

The organization, through its Colorado Police Officers Foundation, has established a donation fund to help law enforcement.


From the 10 a.m. press conference at the Boulder County Sheriff's Office headquarters: Incident Commander Mike Smith says the fire is 0% contained but fire officials don't expect the blaze to grow. 


An analysis published by The Gazette in July revealed that developers built tens of thousands of new homes in Colorado's riskiest areas for wildfires over the last decade, while local and state forest officials allowed wildfire protection plans across the state to age to the point they may no longer remain effective.

An analysis shows some of the most vulnerable areas of the state rely on some of the state’s oldest wildfire protection plans, putting those areas in peril for wildfire devastation.

Click here to read more.

Click here for Colorado's Wildfire Risk Public Viewer.


In a 10 a.m. press conference at the Boulder County Sheriff's Office headquarters, sheriff Joe Pelle said that there have been no casualties and that the estimate of at least 500 homes lost remains the same.


U.S. 36 in Boulder is still closed per Broomfield police. Here's an updated list of roads closed throughout Boulder County.




Here's a map of the Marshall fire:

Marshall fire map

Map of the Marshall fire as of Friday morning.


Among the victims of the fire is CU Buffaloes inside linebackers coach Mark Smith. "Just got word that every material possession we had today is now gone," Smith tweeted.


The Boulder Office of Emergency Management tweeted: "Residents who evacuated/have property in evacuation zones, please do NOT return to the area. We know that you are concerned about your home/belongings. We will notify you about re-entering your homes as soon as we can!"



Evacuation and pre-evacuation orders have been lifted for Broomfield, according to the Broomfield Police Department.


Gazette news partner 9News reported that the winds that gusted upwards of 100 mph Thursday has reduced to the teens and 20s early Friday morning. Those numbers are expected to drop as the day wears on.

5:54 a.m.

As of Friday morning, the fire has been estimated at 6,200 acres, according to Michelle Kelly, the PIO for the Boulder County Incident Management Team. She also said that over 300 people were housed in three shelters overnight and that over 500 homes had been impacted. That number is expected to increase when the sun rises and officials are able to better assess the damage done.

Fire is still burning within the fire perimeter, Kelly told 9News. She warned the people still need to avoid the area.

An estimated 35,000 people have been evacuated from their homes, Kelly said.

Residents of Louisville are advised to boil water prior to consumption.

Load comments