Marshal Fire News Briefing for Jan. 3, 2022, at 2 p.m. View the video of the briefing.
Governor Jared Polis, Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle, Commissioner Matt Jones, City of Louisville Police Chief Dave Hayes, Colorado Xcel President Alice Jackson, and Garry Sanfacon, Boulder County Disaster Assistance Manager attended to provide the latest updates.
Governor Polis opened the press conference with his heartful sympathy for those impacted and repeated many of the key messages related to closures, available services and his belief the community will rebuild and come back even stronger.
The Governor turned the press conference over to Boulder County Sheriff Pelle. The Sheriff shared that later today downtown Superior residents and business owners will be allowed into the damaged areas. He is hopeful Spanish Hills will be allowed in later today as long as it’s safe. More details will be shared about re-entry of these areas when we have them available. Our teams continue to assess conditions in communities to allow re-entry of residents as soon as it is safe.
For the latest updates and re-entry information, view the Public Information map for up-to-date information.
Dumpsters are available 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. in Superior, Louisville and the County for spoiled food and damaged household items only, no yard debris or fire debris. Items placed in dumpsters must be non-toxic. Do NOT dispose of fire-related debris, ash, electronics, yard waste or hazardous waste in the dumpsters.
We currently have two missing persons. The search for these individuals is difficult, but we are working very hard to locate them.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. USFS, ATF and the FBI are assisting.
Since Saturday, when Comcast crews were allowed access to the fire impacted areas, they have been working as diligently and safely as possible to assess and begin repairs to their network infrastructure damaged by the fire.
There was damage to the Comcast network infrastructure that serves residences and businesses in the fire impacted areas which are causing some customers to experience non-power related loss of services.
Repairs are being made and around 40% of customers who are experiencing non-power related outages, should have services already restored.
Comcast crews will continue assessing and making repairs and expect more impacted customers to have their Comcast services restored today and tomorrow, as power is restored, and repairs are made to their network
People can go to www.colorado.comcast.com for more information about access to their Comcast/Xfinity services.
Sheriff Pelle turned the press conference over to Boulder County Commissioner Matt Jones who shared his personal story related to the fire and his appreciation for the community support and their generosity as well as the collaboration of local agencies.
Next up was the Chief of Police for Louisville Dave Hayes
Damage assessment continues. No known missing persons in Louisville at this time. Donations should be directed to Boulder OEM’s website.
Reports of a firetruck being damaged are unfounded. Kennedy Ave has a soft closure as of today. Other areas under soft closures are still in place. Tomorrow we are instituting a resident only pass and Louisville residents can acquire one at 550 McCaslin Blvd between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Hard closures remain closed.
Boulder Disaster Assistance Center Manager Garry Sanfacon spoke about available services:
“Recovery is a marathon and I urge all of those affected to take care of yourself and return to normal routines for you and your kids as much as possible.” Other steps that would be helpful are to contact your insurance company and go to FEMA and register for financial aid. The disaster center will be open for a couple of weeks from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. seven days a week. There are 20 different agencies at the disaster center. There is also a new Marshall Fire Recovery website at www.boco.org/MarshallFire. Thank you for all of the financial support from the community, it is so appreciated.
Colorado Xcel President Alice Jackson closed out the presentation portion with the following information:
Crews are going door to door by region to relight pilot lights in homes. It is helpful for the homeowner to have water service restored prior to Xcel’s relight.
If the homeowner is not home, Xcel will leave a door hanger requesting the homeowner call Xcel so crews can return to the home for relighting. Customer Service number is 800-895-4999.
Q & A Portion
The sheriff was asked questions about the cause of the fire and his response was that it could take weeks or even months to complete with the help of ATF, FBI, and USFS, all of whom have a great deal of experience in fire investigations. “It could take weeks or months to complete the investigation and we are going to take our time and get it right.”
Are there any air quality concerns?
No, those were swept away with the snow. [Updated information 5:11 p.m.] Officials caution residents about the dust and debris that could be stirred up from sifting through the ash and suggest N95 masks be worn.
How did the fire notifications work?
Everbridge is the system for emergency notifications used by Boulder County. Landlines are already included in emergency alerts, however cell phones must be registered. If the landline fails, no message is enabled for the receiver. Registered users on cell phones can select to receive messages via voice, text or email.
What was the first call about the fire?
Radio traffic from firefighters reported downed power lines but they later were determined to be phone lines.
How is the County divided for emergency notifications?
The County is split into numbered polygons and then specific areas are selected depending on the emergency.