Two fires erupted in Boulder Country on Thursday, Dec. 30. The Middle Fork Fire was “attacked pretty quickly,” according to Boulder County sheriff Joe Pelle during a media briefing. However, the Marshall Fire grew quickly due to dry conditions and high winds and led to extensive property damage and thousands of evacuations.
More than 30,000 people had to be evacuated, according a a story by our sister station KUNC, and nearly 1000 homes were destroyed. Even though snow fell and helped extinguish the remaining fires, it has caused additional problems for rescue workers. Because of this select areas are still closed.
The Boulder County Disaster Assistance Center is now open and helping those who lost houses or were directly affected by the Marshall Fire. The center is located at the Boulder County Southeast County Hub at 1755 South Public Road in Lafayette, Colo., is now open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Services include specialists from Boulder County Housing and Human Services, Public Health, and Community Services, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Mental Health Partners, many other area government and nonprofit organizations, and insurers.
The Boulder Office of Emergency Management (OEM) has updates on areas where it’s safe for residents to return. Please do not enter closed areas.
Please check this map for updates on area closures.
For comprehensive information related to the Marshall Fire, including road closures, shelter details, and updates on services such as gas and electric, visit this Boulder OEM resource page. Make sure to refresh that page every time you visit for the latest updates.
Boulder OEM has also put together a fact sheet about emergency notifications.
— Boulder OEM (@BoulderOEM) January 6, 2022
Donations: the Boulder OEM has a donation site at Flatiron Crossing. Before dropping anything off, please read the list of items needed (and items that are not accepted…which includes used clothing).
The state of Colorado website has additional helpful information. This includes behavioral health resources, insurance information, and instructions on how to apply for FEMA or Small Business Administration (SBA) assistance.
If your animal or pet is missing, you can visit this Facebook page for information and a process for finding them. The website includes this important message: “Do note enter closure areas” and do not attempt to wrangle or collect animals that appear skittish as “they are in flight mode and will need careful, calm, professional rescue.”
If your pet needs food, you can reach out to the Colorado Pet Pantry.
If you have an animal that needs evacuation, please use the this Animal Rescue Request Form.
Boulder County Fire Rescue also has a request form for missing pets.
This Boulder Reporting Lab story talks about water safety and why it’s important to be cautious.
The Boulder Reporting Lab also published a story on the potential harmful effects of post-wildfire smoke in your home.
Follow the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE)’s Twitter feed for more health-related updates.
The Boulder Reporting Lab also notes that the Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) is asking students and families affected by the fire to fill out this form.
If you are having a hard time, Community Foundation Boulder County recommends reaching out to the following organizations for mental health support:
- JFS Boulder County Crisis Counseling
- Colorado Crisis Services: Call 1-844-493-8255 or text “TALK” to 38255
- Mental Health Partners: Call 303-443-8500
Donations, Volunteering, Support
The Boulder OEM has a donation site at Flatiron Crossing. Before dropping anything off, please read the list of items needed (and items that are not accepted…which includes used clothing).
If you are looking to offer donations to this emergency event, the Boulder OEM recommends donating to the Red Cross or Community Foundation Boulder County.
New easy-to-find buttons for donating to the #MarshallFire or #MiddleforkFire funds and a place to request animal rescue. Find them at https://t.co/KYZwKCH6lc and navigate to the Emergency Status page. Right at the top! pic.twitter.com/30Pr6seJ8f
— Boulder OEM (@BoulderOEM) December 31, 2021
You can also donate to Community Foundation Boulder County using the Colorado Gives link:
Due to the outpouring of support for the Boulder County Wildfire Fund and those impacted by the #MarshallFire and #MiddleForkFire, some folks are having difficulty accessing our site. If you'd like to contribute you can also give directly to the fund at: https://t.co/0jcOZOfze0
— Community Foundation (@CommFound) December 31, 2021
Additional groups supporting those impacted by the fires:
- Conscious Alliance
- Rocky Mountain Music Relief
- The Colorado Music Festival requests donations to help students secure practice spaces, lessons, and instruments
- The Future Arts Foundation is holding an instrument drive (see this local news story for more details)
- Spark Music Foundation is collecting instruments and donations for students
- Boulder Philharmonic created a disaster relief fund to help three of its members
If you want to volunteer visit Colorado Responds. Do not simply show up looking to help.
And this Sonoma Magazine article provides tips for helping people who have lost their homes to a fire.
We will provide more information on the Marshall Fire and its impact as it becomes available. Please also visit KUNC.org for news updates.