BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – On Saturday afternoon, officials announced that 991 structures were destroyed in the Marshall Fire, including 553 homes in Louisville, 332 homes in Superior and 106 homes in outlying areas, including Eldorado Canyon. Additionally, three people are considered missing.
The homes of the missing people were destroyed and are now covered with several inches of snow, officials stated. Cadaver dogs will be brought in, but officials said the areas are not safe to enter at this point.
Officials said it would be “miraculous” if just three people were killed, and not hundreds. Two of the missing people are from Superior and one is from the Marshall area. None are from Louisville.
Officials said the snowy weather and structure damage are making the investigation difficult but said the estimate of homes destroyed is “very close to being final.”
Investigators now say there is no credible evidence of downed power lines sparking the devastating fire. They did say telecom lines may have been down during high winds, but could not have sparked the fire. It is still an active investigation. Investigators are looking into claims that the fire began in a barn or a shed, but could not yet confirm any specific cause.
“Be prepared to see your community changed in ways you did not expect,” officials warned. Smoke may be visible for a matter of days.
Officials encouraged people to only drive in the area during daylight hours and warned them to be aware of snow covering hazards, including areas that are still hot.
Gas and power may still be off. Xcel is distributing space heaters at two YMCA locations.
There is no potable water in several areas. All water for drinking and other consumption by humans and pets should be brought in.
Dispose of any food exposed to smoke or heat or that has been thawed, officials stated.
Signs of suspicious activity should be reported to 303.441.3674. Witnesses seeing active suspicious activity should call 911.
Another update is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Sunday. Watch it on CBSN Denver.