Firefighters reached 100% containment on the perimeter of the Marshall fire Monday evening, ending the fire's spread at 6,026 acres, according to the Boulder Office of Emergency Management.
After sparking on Thursday, the blaze became the most destructive wildfire in Colorado history, destroying at least 991 structures and damaging another 127 in Superior, Louisville and unincorporated Boulder County.
Nearly 200 firefighters are still working to remove heat in vegetation and around impacted structures, in preparation of high winds predicted in the area on Wednesday, officials said. There are some areas of significant heat which have the potential to flare back up.
"It will take firefighters some time to methodically go around each structure to ensure that they are out and pose no hazard to the fire perimeter or adjacent unburned structures," the Office of Emergency Management said in a statement. "Some areas of the fire may continue produce smoke from smoldering vegetation and debris."
It could be weeks or months before we find out what started the Marshall fire.
During a news conference Monday, Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle offered no updates on the cause of the fire, which was originally believed to be downed power lines. Pelle said investigators are being careful not to rush to conclusions after incorrectly saying the power lines sparked the blaze.
"You're going to lose your patience because it's going to take a while," Pelle said. "We're going to take our time and we're going to do it right and be methodical because the stakes are huge."
Pelle said investigators are 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 and declined to comment further.
On Monday, Pelle also had little to add about the ongoing search for two missing people, saying the search is expected to take a long time. A woman from Louisville and a man from the Marshall area were reported missing after the fire. On Sunday, a third person who was also missing and feared dead was found alive.
"We are actively working at two scenes," Pelle said. "It is very, very difficult work given the debris, the heat ... essentially working by hand and with small tools to try to get through those places."
Downtown Superior reopened to residents and business owners on Monday and the Spanish Hills subdivision also was expected to reopen by the end of the day, Pelle said. Updates on reopenings will be posted on BoulderOEM.com.
As neighborhoods are reopened, Dumpsters will be placed throughout the county from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for residents to dispose of spoiled food and water damaged household items. Dumpster locations will also be posted on BoulderOEM.com.
Repairs are in progress for homes that experienced power outages and other losses of service.
According to Xcel Energy, 400 households were without electricity Monday and were being assessed to determine if electricity can be restored. Assessments were expected to be completed by Thursday. Of 13,000 Xcel customers whose gas services were cut, 5,000 had been restored Monday. According to Comcast, 40% of non-power-related outages had been restored Monday.
A disaster assistance center opened 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, hotel vouchers, mental health support and transportation.
“This is going to be a long road back for so many families,” Gov. Jared Polis said. “This outpouring of love and support doesn’t change the fact that families have lost everything they had.”
The center is in Lafayette at 1755 S. Public Road and will operate from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day for several weeks. Polis said the center was “running smoothly” on Monday.