WILDFIRES in Colorado destroyed an estimated 6,000 acres, according to a map, and as many as 1,000 homes could be lost.
Despite the severe structure damage, there have been no reports of fatalities.
The fires forced two towns to evacuate entirely as the flames quickly ripped through communities in Boulder County.
The Boulder County sheriff’s office said it had received “Multiple reports of power lines down, transformers blowing, etc.”
“This has caused several small grass fires from the downed/sparking lines,” the statement continued.
The town of Superior has been evacuated, according to Fox31/KDVR. Some neighborhoods in Boulder in Louisville have followed suit.
The National Weather Service out of Denver/Boulder tweeted that the blazes have created a life-threatening situation in Superior and Louisville areas, noting that the “fast-moving fires” should encourage people to “gather more information and please be prepared to evacuate immediately.”
The Denver Channel noted that one wind gust was marked at 110mph and that there are multiple fires in the area that continue to grow.
Read our Superior, Colorado fire evacuation live blog for the latest news and updates…
Snow worsens situation
An overnight dumping of snow and frigid temperatures on Saturday compounded the misery of hundreds of Colorado residents who started off the new year trying to salvage what remains of their homes.
At least 6 inches of snow and temperatures in the single digits cast an eerie scene amid the still-smoldering remains of homes.
Despite the shocking change in weather, the smell of smoke still permeated empty streets blocked off by National Guard troops in Humvees.
What caused the fires?
Investigators are still trying to find the cause of the blaze that erupted on Thursday.
Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said utility officials found no downed power lines around where the fire broke out.
He said authorities were pursuing a number of tips and had executed a search warrant at “one particular location.” He declined to give details.
Missing woman’s family speaks out
Hutch Armstrong, Nadine’s grandson-in-law, told 9News that he and his family reporter the elderly woman missing after his wife’s cousin said she could not get the 91-year-old out of their home in Old Town Superior during the blaze.
“They tried to go out the front door with the neighbor. It was engulfed. Checked the back door it was engulfed,” Armstrong told the outlet.
Armstrong said the cousin made it out of the side door and tried to go back for Turnbull, where she suffered burns on her arms and legs.
However, Armstrong said that firefighters pulled her away.
“She says two times she was right behind me, right behind me,” Armstrong said.
Three people missing
While officials had previously said no one was missing, Boulder County spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill said on Saturday that three people are missing after fires ripped through Colorado this week.
Among the missing was 91-year-old grandmother Nadine Turnbull. The identity of the other two people has not yet been released.
The wildfire that started on Thursday destroyed entire neighborhoods in a suburban area between Denver and Boulder.
Snow covers the burned remains of a home after the Marshall Wildfire Saturday in Louisville, Colorado.
An overnight dumping of snow and frigid temperatures compounded the misery of hundreds of Colorado residents who started off the new year trying to salvage what remains of their homes after a wind-whipped wildfire tore through the Denver suburbs.
Pensioner William Shrum, 72, lost power in his home before winds started to shake his home.
He already had a makeshift bed in his car but forgot his toothbrush and contact lenses.
Shrum said: “We’ve had a lot of fires nearby, but not right on top of us like this. I hope home is still here when I come back.”
Firefighters struggled with fires
Joe Pelle, sheriff of Boulder County, warned that fire crews couldn’t fight the blaze head-on.
He added: “We actually had deputy sheriffs and firefighters in areas that had to pull out because they just got overrun.”
At least six people have suffered injuries and so far no fatalities have been recorded, according to the Colorado Sun.
How many were evacuated?
On Thursday, roughly 30,000 people in the towns of Louisville and Superior were told to leave their homes.
The National Weather Service out of Denver/Boulder tweeted that the blazes have created a life-threatening situation, noting that the “fast-moving fires” should encourage people to “gather more information and be prepared to evacuate immediately.”
Governor declared state of emergency
Colorado Governor Jared Polis declared a state of emergency as wildfires burned through Boulder County.
His statement read: “The declaration allows the state to access disaster emergency funds to support the emergency response efforts in Boulder and provide state resources including the use of the Colorado National Guard, Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control and activation of the State Emergency Operations Center.”
Marshall Fire visible from downtown Denver
A Denver meteorologist shared an image of the Marshall Fire captured from a building in downtown Denver.
The blaze of the fire is visible in the distance, beyond the city skyline.
Residents may experience energy outages
Some Xcel Energy electric and natural gas customers will experience outages connected to the fires, according to the Colorado Sun.
The outages are intentional, and will help mitigate the “significant damage” the company’s utility infrastructure has already incurred.
The outages began Thursday and will continue into Friday.
“To decrease the amount of natural gas being used by furnaces in the area and keep the system up and running, the company is putting in place periodic electric outages to customers in Summit, Grand, Lake, Eagle, Saguache, Rio Grande and Alamosa counties for the next six to eight hours,” Xcel said in a statement.
Images show inferno
The Broomfield Police Department shared an image of the view from a Panda Express in Superior, Colorado, as the town is evacuated due to spreading fires on Thursday.
They are asking people to “Gather essentials like prescriptions, medical supplies, pet supplies, important papers, and alert neighbors.”
Wind gusts reached 110mph
According to The Colorado Sun, at least 600 homes and businesses in neighborhoods Superior and Louisville east of Boulder burned on Thursday.
The fire quickly spread as wind gusts reached 110mph.
At least six people were injured and treated for burns.
The Broomfield Detention Center has been evacuated as fires spread through Boulder county in Colorado, said the Broomfield Police Department.
Inmates have been moved to another facility, the department tweeted shortly after midnight EST on December 31.
Some unable to evacuate due to outages
The Boulder Office of Emergency Management said on Facebook they are getting reports that some individuals in Louisville can’t evacuate because they are without power and can’t get their vehicles out of their garages.
“All garages have a red handle INSIDE that allows you to manually open your garage. Pull the handle to open your garage door,” the Office informed.
Colorado Gov surveys damage
Governor Jared Polis shared photos on Twitter of him walking through the devastated towns, after wildfires burned through Boulder County.
Polis said his administration will partner with President Joe Biden and other federal agencies to support those who were devastated by the wildfires.
Family desperate to find dog
A Colorado resident shared on Twitter that their family is missing their eight-year-old dog, who got lost amid the wildfires.
Bernie Sanders calls for climate action
The Vermont senator cited the unusually high temperatures in Alaska, and the Colorado wildfires as evidence of a “large-scale climate crisis.”
Sanders continued: “We need bold climate action and we need it now.”
White House statement, continued
“FEMA Administrator Criswell and her team are already working with their counterparts in Colorado to surge assistance.”
Fortunately, snowfall will help bring an end to the fires, and recovery efforts can get underway.”
“The President is grateful to all of the first responders who have come to the aid of Colorado communities and families impacted by the fires.”
White House statement
“The President spoke [Friday] morning with Governor Jared Polis to discuss the no-notice wildfires that have caused significant property damage and loss in Colorado,” read the statement.
“Governor Polis described the impacts and the need for additional Federal support, and the President assured him that every effort will be made to provide immediate help to people in the impacted communities.”
Biden approves disaster declaration
The White House approved a disaster declaration for Colorado, and will provide federal funding for the communities affected by the wildfires.
Boulder County lost about 1,000 homes
Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle estimated that about 1,000 homes may have been lost in the wildfires.
He said he expects to learn of at least 500 homes lost.
6,000 acres of damage
The Marshall fire rapidly destroyed an estimated 6,000 acres, after Thursday’s strong winds pushed it into neighborhoods.
Boulder County lost hundreds of structures in the fire.
Area hospital sees burn victims
UCHealth Broomfield Hospital representative Kelli Christensen told The Colorado Sun that it is treating at least six burn victims on Thursday.
The fire has reportedly also damaged several structures in the areas of Louisville and Superior, Colorado.
No fatalities is a ‘miracle,’ says governor
In a press conference on Friday Colorado governor Jared Polis said it was a miracle that there have been no deaths or missing persons reports after a fire ripped through Boulder County on Thursday.
“We might have our very own New Year’s miracle on our hands, if it holds up that there was no loss of life,” said governor Polis.
“It’s unbelievable, when you look at the devastation, that we don’t have a list of a hundred missing persons,” added Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle.
“I’m hoping that’s a miracle.”