BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– The attention of the Marshall Fire investigation has been focused on the area of a shed where smoke was seen in video during the early stages of the fire. A few minutes later in another video, the shed was fully engulfed.

(credit: Anjan Sapkota)

Now the area where that shed was located is surrounded by a small trench. The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office would not comment on the trench.
CBS4 asked Greg Pixley, a Captain with Denver Fire Department and not involved in the investigation, how the probe might proceed.

Pixley said, “When we are looking for a cause of origin we are looking to go to the place where the fire has burned the longest and the hottest.”

He says the investigators on the case will scour the area for every possible clue. That may include the blackened trail the fire left behind.

(credit: Somerset McCarty)

“There are burn patterns that take place and often times they are created in a structure in a ‘V.'” Pixley stated.

The property where the shed was located belongs to the international religious sect called the 12 Tribes. A Mountain View Fire report shows they had been burning railroad ties at the address six days earlier with no violations cited. Its members declined to comment.

A neighbor, Somerset McCarty, told CBS4 the Marshall fire came from the direction.

(credit: Somerset McCarty)

“I just remember seeing flames going up over the top of my van had my window open and flames came right into the cab,” he told CBS4’s Alan Gionet.

Videos McCarty and others took will be combined with eyewitness accounts, lab reports and other information to determine where this fire that destroyed more than a thousand homes and businesses started and why.

The National Weather Service has confirmed that there was no Red Flag Warning in effect for fire danger the day of the Marshall Fire. Wind gusts reached more than 100 mph, but humidity levels did not reach the Red Flag requirements.

Rick Sallinger