Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle is seen aboard a Colorado National Guard helicopter on Dec. 31, 2021. He, along with Gov. Jared Polis and, at right, Brig. Gen. Laura Clellan, Adjutant General of Colorado, got a flyover tour of Boulder County neighborhoods destroyed by wildfires the previous day. (Hart Van Denburg/CPR, pool)
One person who was missing after the Marshall Fire has been located alive and well, Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle announced at a midday news conference, which was held at the sheriff’s office and streamed live on Facebook.
On Saturday, Pelle said three people were missing and believed to be dead. Sunday’s announcement, however, means two people are now unaccounted for.
Pelle provided more detail at a second news conference Sunday.
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The people still missing include a woman from Superior, whose granddaughter Pelle said he’d spoken with, and a man from Marshall.
“There are detectives and dogs and a coroner’s crew and everybody out there working throughout the day,” Pelle said at a Sunday afternoon news conference, also held at the sheriff’s office and streamed on Facebook. “I was out there earlier. It’s a very difficult search, because of the debris, the heat, the snow.”
The Boulder County Disaster Assistance Center, or DAC, is meant to serve as a one-stop shop for residents in need of help related to the fires. The DAC is located at the Boulder County Southeast County Hub at 1755 South Public Road in Lafayette. Starting Monday, it will operate from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week.
The county no longer has space for any physical donations, such as food or supplies, Pelle said. He encouraged people to visit the Boulder Office of Emergency Management website, boulderoem.com, for information on ways to donate money or volunteer.
After 100,000 Xcel Energy electric customers initially lost power as a result of the wind, fire and snow, roughly 600 customers outside the burn zone remain without power in “the more mountainous regions of our service territory,” Alice Jackson, president of Xcel Energy – Colorado, said at the Sunday afternoon news conference. Xcel expects power to restored to those homes by the end of the day on Sunday.
Within the burn zone, Jackson said, around 1,000 homes remain without electric service.
“We will be working home by home, business by business, in order to identify which of those services can be restored,” she said.
On Thursday afternoon, Xcel turned off gas service to roughly 13,000 gas customers in the area of the fire, and it has restored gas service to around 1,400 customers so far, she said. Xcel expects to complete a “first pass” through the area, restoring gas service to the homes where service can be restored, by the end of the day on Tuesday, Jackson added.
Pelle encouraged evacuated residents to monitor the Boulder OEM website for announcements on when they can return to their homes.
When asked about the possible cause of the fire, Pelle repeatedly said the incident remained under investigation, without providing many details.
“I’m certainly not going to speculate,” he said at one point. “There’s a lot at stake here, OK. But something ignited the fire in that wind on a red-flag day. And our job and our responsibility and our quest is to determine what started that fire.”
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