Marshall Fire Devastates Boulder County


During the last week of 2021, a year that seemed as if it couldn’t have gotten any worse, several areas around Boulder County, Colorado caught fire. The fire, which has since been named the Marshall Fire, started on December 30, 2021, was suspected to have been started by a fire in an old shed along Marshall Road. Large amounts of wind that occurred all across Colorado, some marked at over 100 miles per hour, quickly carried the fire, causing the fire to spread rapidly, not giving people much time to prepare or to evacuate. The Marshall fire burned through 6,000 acres of land in the first 24 hours it was in existence.

The fire has(was) particularly destructive, despite the winter conditions. With little to no precipitation in the previous weeks leading up to the fire, the land was very dry and easily flammable, causing the fire to burn fast, spread quickly, and cause mass destruction. It has been estimated that in areas around Boulder County, particularly Louisville and Superior, over 1,100 homes, businesses, and other buildings have been decimated by the flames and were left to mostly ash. Throughout Colorado’s long history, there have been many wildfires due to the dryness of the state, but this fire has been the most destructive in the state’s history. 

Soon after the fire had ripped through Superior and Louisville, large amounts of snow came down all across Colorado. The snowfall, estimated at about 1 foot, fortunately smothered much of the flames, but some burning still persists. The ash from the fire combined with the large amounts of snow led to an interesting and particularly difficult situation for the victims of the fire. Without homes, people were left stranded in the cold and wet snow, and received aid in the form of free space heaters that were provided to them.

While the worst of it is most likely over, the devastating fire has left many people without a home and without businesses, and ultimately no place to go. Cleanup has begun but it will take a lot of time before the cities of Louisville and Superior return to a state of normalcy. Businesses, charities, and other organizations have collected donations to help support the victims of the Marshall Fire. Our very own Chatfield basketball teams collected donations resulting in about $300 at one of their recent games and donated the money to Community Foundation Boulder County. You too can aid in relief from the fire by donating to them or by donating to the Colorado Gives Foundation. The work that is being done is simply amazing and shows how much good can be done when communities come together to help out the people with whom we share this great state.