BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– The Marshall Fire damaged and displaced the lives of many in Boulder County. Several people came to the Humane Society at Boulder Valley on Sunday afternoon to pay tribute to the people and pets that were lost in the fire.

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“We wanted to have a vigil today to bring people together and to lift the spirits of the community,” said Jan McHugh-Smith, CEO of the Humane Society of Boulder Valley.

The vigil honored the people and pets that were lost in the wildfires with signs, roses, and plenty of heavy hearts.

“It’s been a heavyweight and we’re looking forward to lifting people’s hearts and to bring them hope,” said McHugh-Smith.

The words of comfort were joined with thankfulness. Like for Lynn Herklitz, who needed help from police to evacuate and carry her three-legged dog safely away from the fire.

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“Two police officers came down the street and helped me to evacuate and I said, please, please can you help me get him into my car. So, it was terrifying,” recalled Herklitz.

The vigil was the first step to help rebuild hearts. The next one is to rebuild homes. A virtual community town hall was held over zoom on Sunday to help answer questions for those impacted by the fire and how they would be able to move forward.

“We know that this has been an incredibly tough week and a half and that the road to recovery and rebuilding will be a very long one,” said Rep. Joe Neguse.

Those leading the recovery efforts shared details on how those who lost their homes could get assistance, and how they’re pushing for even more help from President Joe Biden.

“We’ll continue to work with the administration and our federal partners to ensure that Coloradans impacted by these unprecedented events have the resources to access aid and to fully recover,” said Neguse.

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In the meantime, several pets recovered from the fire remain at the Human Society of Boulder Valley. They took in 50 pets that were stranded and 40 of them were reunited with their families. The other 10 will remain at the shelter until their families are able to find a new home.

“I just want to let people know that we’re here for them and that’s what today was all about. To know that they’re not alone. That people are here. They care and they want to help,” said McHugh-Smith

Justin Adams