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SUPERIOR, Colo. — Grass fires fueled by high winds destroyed hundreds of homes in Boulder County December 30; thousands of Coloradans had to flee their homes.
According to Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle, a total of 991 structures have been destroyed, 127 were damaged. 553 of those destroyed were in the town of Louisville, 45 damaged. 332 of those destroyed were in Superior, 60 were damaged. 106 structures that were damaged were in unincorporated Boulder County, 22 damaged.
In a January 1 press conference, Pelle said there have been a total of five missing person reports over the course of this fire, two of those have been found safe. He said there are still currently three missing people and unfortunately these could turn into recovery cases, and the eight inches of snow on the destroyed homes is making it difficult to get out to search for these missing people. Authorities plan to bring in cadaver dogs on Sunday, January 2 to search the homes.
Two of the missing people lived in Superior, the other one is from the Marshall area. Authorities haven't publicly identified them yet.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. The Boulder County sheriff's department is pursuing multiple tips including serving a search warrant to a house. He did not elaborate on the nature of the warrant. Despite multiple reports of downed power lines, Pelle said they haven't found evidence of downed power lines yet, could have been downed communication lines which can't spark a fire.
As of Friday morning, the fire had covered about 6,000 acres.
If you evacuated your home and have questions about the status of your property, call 303-413-7730.
Do not go back to evacuation zones
As difficult as it might be, the Boulder Office of Emergency Management is asking residents who evacuated to please avoid the evacuation zones. The post on their website said in part, "First responders are working non-stop to keep everyone safe, even as they don’t know the status of their own homes in the area." Emergency services are asking people to please be patient and we will get through this together.