Briefline

Parts of Superior to open Monday after Marshall Fire devastation

By: - January 3, 2022 4:48 pm

Aboard a Colorado National Guard helicopter, Gov. Jared Polis on Friday, Dec. 31, 2021, gets a flyover tour of Boulder County neighborhoods destroyed by wildfires the previous day. He was accompanied by Brig. Gen. Laura Clellan, Adjutant General of Colorado, and Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle. Colorado U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet and Rep. Joe Neguse also toured the area in a separate helicopter. (Hart Van Denburg/CPR, pool)

Downtown Superior will be reopened to residents and business owners Monday, five days after the Marshall Fire burned through the area.

The Spanish Hills subdivision is also likely to reopen by the end of day Monday, Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle announced during an afternoon news conference. Real-time updates and details for reentry will be posted at the Boulder Office of Emergency Management’s website.

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“Our teams continue to assess conditions in communities that will allow reentry of residents as soon as it’s safe,” Pelle said. “For the latest updates, be sure to visit our website and look at our maps. It is updated as quickly as we make a decision.”

The Marshall Fire began the morning of Dec. 30 amid high winds and destroyed nearly 1,000 structures as it swept through Louisville and Superior. It is the most destructive fire in Colorado history.

Now, leaders are focused on reentry, reconstruction and restoration of services.

“This is going to be a long road back for so many families, not just those that directly lost their homes, but those whose homes were damaged and those who don’t have a place of work,” Gov. Jared Polis said.

Louisville residents can pick up access passes to get around soft closures in the area at Ascent Church, 550 McCaslin Blvd., from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The school district will likely give out similar passes to students and parents who need to get through roadblocks in order to get to school.

There are 400 people still without electricity inside the burn path, according to Xcel Energy Colorado President Alice Jackson. She said the majority of those homes will be unable to receive service, but crews are walking through each lot to assess which ones can get back online. That assessment process will be complete by Thursday.

As for natural gas, 5,000 of the 13,000 affected customers have had their service restored so far. Crews are in the process of relighting the remaining homes and businesses.

Pelle did not have any updates on the two remaining missing people, a woman from Superior and a man from the unincorporated part of the county. He also did not have an update on the cause of the fire.

He said The Twelve Tribes property is part of the area under scrutiny, but emphasized the open-ended and ongoing nature of the investigation.

“We’re going to get the right people with the right expertise. The snow is going to melt and we’ll be able to see better. Things are going to happen,” he said, suggesting that the FBI and ATF may play a role in the investigation. “We’re going to do it well and we’re going to take our time and be methodical, because the stakes are huge.”

People affected by the fire can head to the Disaster Assistance Center at 1755 S. Public Road from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. for help with insurance claims, gift cards for essential items, help for short and long-term housing, assistance with replacing vital records and other services. Many other businesses, restaurants and mutual aid organizations are also offering help to evacuees.

“This is for folks who suffered a complete loss or some loss, you can go and all the resources you need are in one place,” Polis said.

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Sara Wilson
Sara Wilson

Sara Wilson covers state government, Colorado's congressional delegation, energy and other stories for Newsline. She formerly was a reporter for The Pueblo Chieftain, where she covered politics and government in southern Colorado. Wilson earned a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University, and as a student she reported on Congress and other federal beats in Washington, D.C.

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