Thursday updates: Hundreds of homes destroyed by Marshall Fire, thousands of people evacuated

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Note: This is an archive of Thursday’s live wildfire coverage. For the latest information, check our homepage on KDVR.com.

BOULDER, Colo. (KDVR) – Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has declared a state of emergency after wildfires in Boulder and Jefferson County forced more than 30,000 people to evacuate from their homes. The fires sparked when strong winds knocked down power lines around 11 a.m.

The Town of Superior and City of Louisville were been completely evacuated, as were some nearby neighborhoods, including the Interlocken area of Broomfield.

11:55 p.m.: All mandatory evacuation and pre-evacuation orders for Broomfield have been lifted. Evacuees may return home and those on pre-evacuation status no longer need to be on standby.

10:56 p.m.: There are no remaining evacuation orders outside of Boulder County, according to Westminster Police. This is specifically in reference to the Meadow View neighborhood.

10:15 p.m.: Xcel Energy said it expects to end the controlled outages in the high country and San Luis Valley overnight.

The blackouts were put in place to help reduce the draw on the company’s natural gas system as crews work to extinguish the Marshall Fire.

“The duration of the controlled outages was longer than initially expected for many customers, so we thank you for your patience and for helping ensure our natural gas system can continue to serve all our customers,” Xcel said in a release.

10 p.m.: Please do not return to your homes and vehicles if you are under an evacuation order. Our crews in the field reported seeing several people heading toward the area where the fire is actively burning.

9:15 p.m.: All pre-evacuation orders for Arvada have been lifted. This is for the area from Highway 93 to Alkire Street between 96th Avenue and 82nd Avenue.

8:40 p.m.: The Meadow View neighborhood in Westminster is now under a mandatory evacuation order. According to Westminster police, there are about 19 homes in the neighborhood and officers went door-to-door earlier tonight notifying residents when a pre-evacuation order was issued.

8:15 p.m.: An air quality alert has been extended until noon tomorrow for areas in Boulder and Broomfield counties near the fire.

If smoke is thick or becomes thick in your neighborhood you may want to remain indoors. This is especially true for those with heart disease, respiratory illnesses, the very young, and the elderly

The Colorado Air Pollution Control Division said tomorrow’s snow showers should help decrease smoke levels.

7:58 p.m.: A pre-evacuation notice has been issued for parts of Arvada north of 82nd Avenue between Highway 93 and Standley Lake. This includes Barbara Gulch, Rocky Flats and Big Dry Creek.

7:50 p.m.: The Meadow View neighborhood in Westminster is now under a pre-evacuation order. If you live in the area you should gather essentials like prescriptions, medical & pet supplies and important paperwork. If possible please alert neighbors and be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice.

7:48 p.m.: The high wind warnings have all been canceled according to the National Weather Service. There are still some gusty winds expected, but NWS says the strongest winds are over.

7:20 p.m.: Westminster Dog Park and the Meadow View community, near 107th and Simms, are in the current pre-evacuation area. There are 19 homes in Meadow View that are in Westminster.

7 p.m.: The City of Broomfield announced that it has closed the library, community center and recreation center as a result of the fire. They are all closed until further notice.

6:40 p.m.: Broomfield has expanded its mandatory evacuation order to include the area south of Highway 128 between Simms Street and Indiana Street. This includes the Touchstone and Stonegate apartments.

Skystone remains in the pre-evacuation zone

6:20 p.m.: The evacuation centers at North Boulder Recreation Center, Rocky Mountain Christian Church in Longmont and the YMCA in Lafayette will all provide overnight shelter. The Boulder County Office of Emergency Management is working to get cots and food service organized at each location.

Additionally, the shelters have been set up as reunification sites for families to meet.

6 p.m.: The Boulder County Office of Emergency Management is asking anyone wishing to make a donation to reach out to the Community Foundation of Boulder County or the Red Cross of Colorado and Wyoming.

New easy-to-find buttons for donating to the #MarshallFire or #MiddleforkFire funds and a place to request animal rescue. Find them at BoulderOEM.com and navigate to the Emergency Status page. Right at the top!

5:18 p.m.: Broomfield has ordered evacuations for everyone who lives west of Wadsworth Parkway between US 36 and 112th Avenue. This includes the Interlocken area.

Additionally, the Skystone neighborhood is on pre-evacuation order.

5:15 p.m.: More than 500 homes are believed to be lost including all 370 homes in the Sagamore subdivision and all 210 homes in the Old Town subdivision. There are also homes in other smaller subdivisions in Superior and Marshall that have been destroyed.

“The end won’t come until the wind subsides. This is the kind of fire you can’t fight head-on,” Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said.

5:10 p.m.: The state of emergency has qualified Colorado for federal Fire Management Assistance Grant money to help with the recovery once this fire is out.

5:02 p.m.: The Boulder County Sheriff said the fire is now estimated at 1,600 acres in Louisville, Superior and unincorporated parts of Boulder County.

At this time the sheriff said there is only one reported injury and no deaths, however, he said he would not be surprised if this changes because of the fire’s path through heavily populated areas.

Anyone looking for information on the fire can call the Boulder Office of Emergency Management at 303-413-7730.

4:55 p.m.: All patients and staff have been evacuated from Avista Adventist Hospital. A patient and associate line has been established for inquiries about loved ones and family: 303-661-1848.

4:50 p.m.: Rescuers in Arvada confirm that six people were injured, including two who were taken to the hospital when the roof of a discount tire center collapsed.

4:42 p.m.: The Mayor of Superior told FOX31 News he believes hundreds of structures have been destroyed by the fire so far.

4:40 p.m.: The roof of a discount tire in Arvada has collapsed. There are reports of people inside although how many is unclear.

4:36 p.m.: The Denver Fire Department has sent four crews to assist in Boulder. They are joining other firefighters from across the region as these wildfires threaten buildings in Superior, Louisville and the surrounding areas.

4:29 p.m. FOX31 reporter Evan Kruegel confirmed multiple homes are on fire in Louisville.

4:20 p.m.: According to Xcel Energy’s outage map, more than 25,000 customers have been impacted in the Boulder, Superior, Louisville and Arvada areas.

4:20 p.m.: Multiple crashes caused by high winds across jurisdictions has forced CDOT to close all lanes of C470 between Bowles and Morrison.

4:05 p.m.: Centura Avista Adventist Hospital has evacuated patients from the ICU, NICU and emergency department. Medical-surgical patients are currently sheltering in place. A patient and associate line has been set up for questions about loved ones and family: 303-661-1848.

3:55 p.m.: The closure on US-36 has been extended in both directions from Colorado Avenue in Boulder to US 128 in Broomfield.

3:52 p.m.: Due to a power outage at South Boulder Rec Center is moving its evacuation center to North Boulder Rec Center (NBRC), 3170 Broadway. Anyone needing evacuation resources can head to NBRC. The East Boulder Community Center will be closed so staff can be redirected to NBRC.

3:43 p.m.: South Metro Fire Rescue is sending three units to assist with the fires in Boulder. They will join for unites from Arapahoe County, Adams County and others from around the metro that are working together.

3:37 p.m. Broomfield opened a shelter at the FirstBank Center at 11450 Broomfield Ln. for residents evacuated from nearby Louisville, Boulder, Superior and elsewhere. Some areas of Broomfield remain on pre-evacuation status, but there are no mandatory evacuations for the city.

3:15 p.m.: Gov. Polis has declared a state of emergency due to grass fires in Boulder and across the Front Range.

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.  

The Boulder County Sheriff will hold a media briefing on the fire today at 5 p.m.

3:10 p.m.: UCHealth Broomfield Hospital reports that it has received six patients who need fire-related medical treatment.

3 p.m.: The City of Arvada and many communities north of Denver are dealing with power outages caused by the wind and fires. This means traffic lights may be blinking or not operating at all.

2:52 p.m.: Pre-evacuation orders are now in place for residents at several Broomfield apartment complexes, according to Broomfield Police. It applies to residents at Caliber at Flatirons Apartments, Retreat at Flatirons Apartments, Terracina of Broomfield Apartments, Vantage Point Apartments, the Holiday Inn Express, and the Hyatt House in Broomfield.

2:36 p.m.: Denver International Airport has been put in a ground delay. This means flights taking off are about 40 minutes behind schedule.

2:18 p.m.: The City of Louisville has been ordered to evacuate. The South Boulder Recreation Center is one of the evacuation centers.

2:12 p.m.: Many of the roads that are open as ways out of Boulder and the surrounding communities are at a standstill. People are being asked to leave to the east or north where there is less traffic.

2:05 p.m.: US-36 is closed in both directions from Interlocken Loop to Baseline Road.

2 p.m.: People in communities surrounding the fire have been told to keep their windows closed because of the smoke. This is especially important for people with respiratory illness or breathing issues.

1:53 p.m.: Smoke from the fires is visible on the weather radar. “Very strong winds fueling the #marshallfire. Never a good sign when radar shows a smoke plume this strong. Please heed all evacuations associated with this fire. Follow @BoulderOEM for latest evacuations and official fire info.” the National Weather Service said on Twitter.

1:51 p.m.: Gov. Jared Polis, who lives in Boulder, issued a statement about the fire:

“Prayers for thousands of families evacuating from the fires in Superior and Boulder County. Fast winds are spreading flames quickly and all aircraft are grounded.”

1:42 p.m.: C-470 is closed at 285 where a tractor-trailer has been blown over.

1:40 p.m.: Broomfield has set up an emergency shelter but at this time there are no evacuations in the city.

1:34 p.m.: Colorado State Patrol is warning that high winds are making travel difficult on I-70 between Golden and Georgetown.

1:30 p.m.: An additional evacuation center has been established at the Lafayette YMCA.

1:10 p.m.: All residents in Superior have been told to evacuate by officials. Residents are being told to head to South Boulder Recreation Center. The Superior Community Center is not an official evacuation location.

12:27 p.m.: Highway 36 is closed in both directions from Interlocken Loop to Foothills Parkway.

12:18 p.m.: Boulder Emergency Operations has named the two fires burning:

The first fire is north of the City of Boulder. The closest intersection is North Foothills Highway and Middle Fork Road. The name of this fire is the Middle Fork Fire.

The second fire is south of the City of Boulder. The closest intersection is South Cherryvale Road and Marshall Drive. The name of this fire is the Marshall Fire.

12:10 p.m.: Highway 93 between Hogback Road and CO 170 has reopened.

11:55 a.m.: University of Colorado Boulder Facilities Management says there are downed trees and branches around campus. Anyone experiencing a problem is asked to call Operations Control Center at 303-492-5522.

11:30 a.m.: Highway 93 is closed in both directions due to high winds and crashes between CO-170 and Golden.

US 36 is closed in between Longhorn Road and Nolan Drive.

Authorities have also closed northbound Foothills Parkway between Nebo and Ute Highway.

EARLIER STORY: One grass fire was reported near the 5000 block of North Broadway and another is near North Foothills Highway and Middle Fork Road.

The fire at North Broadway has been contained, and crews are still working to contain the fire at North Foothills and Middle Fork Road.

Meanwhile, Xcel is reporting more than 48 power outages affecting close to 4,700 customers.

Earlier, the National Weather Service reported an “extraordinary” gust of 105 mph at the intersection of Highway 93 and Highway 72 at 9:51 a.m just south of the Boulder city limit.

This is a developing story. We will report further details as they are received.

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