Cause of Marshall Fire Still Undetermined — Nearly One Year Later

Carol Mckinley – The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.)

Dec. 15—The cause of Colorado’s most destructive wildfire won’t be known until early next year, the Boulder County Sheriff announced in a news release Thursday.

The Marshall fire tore through unincorporated Boulder County, Superior and Louisville the morning of Dec. 30, 2021, and was fanned by winds that gusted up to 110 miles per hour in an area which was under extreme drought. The fire, which ignited in a rural residential area southeast of the city of Boulder, killed two people, torched more than 6,000 acres and destroyed 1,156 homes and businesses.

In a news release likely designed to get ahead of what are sure to be countless media and citizen inquiries, the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office explained that the cause of the fire remains under investigation and that the Boulder District Attorney’s office is involved with the inquiry.

See also  Southern Arizona Wildfire Prompts More Evacuations

The release listed 10 possible causes of the mega-fire including debris burning, underground coal mine fires, children playing with matches, fireworks, and the potential of an equipment malfunction or spark.

Early last year, neighbors said they saw a religious group burning trash in an unfenced area close to where the fire started. One man filmed the fire jump to a nearby shed which caught fire.

In addition, Gazette partner 9News first reported that the Marshall fire may have started due to subsurface flames along coal seams which have been slowly burning for decades. There was also talk that downed power lines may have added to the fire’s origin, but Xcel Energy denied it was any of its lines.

See also  Wildfire East of Phoenix Causes Evacuations

Boulder sheriff’s deputies are poring over evidence with the Boulder County District Attorney’s office with the goal of a “full and complete investigation.”

The investigation includes 200 tips, 260 body-worn camera recordings and 186 pieces of evidence including drone footage and photos taken by witnesses and investigators, according to the release.

Some of the body-worn camera footage was released for public viewing by the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office officials Thursday.

___

(c)2022 The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.)

Visit The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.) at www.gazette.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

© Copyright 2022 Tribune Content Agency. All Rights Reserved

Topics

Carol Mckinley – The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.) Dec. 15—The cause of Colorado’s most destructive wildfire won’t be known until early next year, the Boulder County Sheriff announced in a news release Thursday. The Marshall fire tore through unincorporated Boulder County, Superior and Louisville the morning of Dec. 30, 2021, and was fanned by winds that gusted up to 110 miles per hour in an […]

Get The Wildland Firefighter Newsletter

Related Articles

Feds Spend $930 Million to Curb ‘Crisis’ of Wildfires

Feds Spend $930 Million to Curb ‘Crisis’ of Wildfires

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The U.S. is directing $930 million toward reducing wildfire dangers in 10 western states by clearing trees and underbrush from national forests, the Biden administration announced Thursday, as officials struggle to contain destructive infernos...

Reward Offered in Nakia Creek (OR) Fire Investigation

Reward Offered in Nakia Creek (OR) Fire Investigation

Jessica Prokop - The Columbian, Vancouver, Wash. The Clark County Fire Marshal's Office and Crime Stoppers of Oregon are offering a reward for suspect information in the investigation into the cause of the Nakia Creek Fire. The fire marshal's office is asking the...