Colorado Wildfire: One Missing Person Found Alive After the Massive Blaze

by Matthew Memrick

A missing person found after Colorado’s massive wildfire blaze gives rescuers hope as they look for two more people going into Monday.

Firefighters say snow and debris are a cause to slow rescue efforts. They found the missing person Sunday, and Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said there were two more to go. Officials expressed amazement that more people had not died from the fast-moving Colorado wildfire.

The New York Post said the winter wildfire damaged nearly 1,000 homes last week.  

Three-Day Colorado Wildfire Causes Massive Damages

The Marshall wildfire began Thursday in the towns of Louisville and Superior outside the Rocky Mountains and spread almost 10 miles. The area’s past dry months and high winds fueled the disaster despite cold temperatures and snow already on the ground.

The Colorado wildfire was under control by Saturday, but not before seven people suffered injuries.

Early reports of downed power lines gave cause to the wildfire, but there is still an ongoing investigation. Utility officials did not find those power lines where the Colorado wildfire broke out.

On Saturday, Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said several tips came into his office with one search warrant executed, but Pelle did not provide further information.

Missing People

At first, officials thought they had to look for three individuals on Saturday as the wildfire waned, but that number changed on Sunday.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis lamented the drastic change of events over three days, saying that many went from “celebrating Christmas” and “hanging stockings” to losing everything. He tried to impress upon many residents that the reality was setting in (or would soon set in) for those who lost everything and could not return to their properties.

Polis and other federal officials toured the area on Sunday. The Colorado governor said he was still coming to grips with the sight of seeing the destruction where snow-covered houses and cars used to be.

Officials Confirmed Damages On Sunday

The wildfire reportedly destroyed 991 buildings, including eight businesses at a Louisville shopping center. Superior reported another dozen businesses damaged by the fire. Together, the two Colorado towns had a population of 34,000. The area is 20 miles northwest of Denver.

Polis said temporary housing is in the works for victims. But permanent housing could be a challenge. Some ideas included resettling victims closer to Denver and in the suburbs along with possible RV accommodations. Polis admitted the challenge of getting victims permanent solutions.

But for those that did not suffer, Polis said utility crews were at work getting electricity and natural gas services going. 

The Colorado wildfire spared Susan Hill’s house, but she hurried to evacuate last Thursday with her son, dog, and essential papers.

“I don’t even know how to describe it,” she told USA Today. “It’s so sad. It’s so awful.”