(CBS4) – Debris removal is ongoing in Boulder County to clean up properties burned in the Marshall Fire and the hired company is tasked with scraping down lots by July. Yet, some residents say the process is actually happening too quickly and they are not being given a final chance to walk through the debris and collect any remaining items.

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Some homeowners told CBS4 they’re upset about a lack of notification about the scrapes. Nola Chow is among them. She had hoped to save trees and other vegetation around where her home in the Cornerstone neighborhood of Louisville stood. She says there was supposed to a be a walk-through so the crews would know what she wanted done.

“Every step of this process has just been another wound,” Chow remarked.

She’s not alone.

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The teams brought in by the county and its contractor have moved quickly. So quickly that Lesley Draper found the property where her destroyed house stood scraped clean.

“It’s fine it’s moving fast, but let’s do it the right way and let people get to their lots and tell them what they don’t want,” she said as she stood outside the temporary home where she and her sister are living.

A neighbor shot a picture of a wind sculpture that survived the fire. It’s now gone along with a bird bath.

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Draper added with sadness: “What it comes down to is it’s still our property. It’s a sacred site. It’s our whole lives here.”

Boulder County indicated it wants all fire victims to have a chance to walk their property with debris team members so they can move everything out before the heavy equipment moves in.

Boulder County Public works sent CBS4 the following statement:

We really do want everyone who’s participating to have a chance to be able to speak with a project team representative and to be able to walk their property with a site monitor and other debris team members so we’re all on the same page. To help make sure this happens, another team was recently brought on to create a “planning group” dedicated to working with program participants in advance of work commencing. This has allowed for more time, five days or more, for contact attempts and for conversations to be had between the debris removal team and property owners before crews start removing debris from the property. The planning group also is working on improving schedules now that DRC’s crews have had some time to get rolling and actually know with an improving level of accuracy how long it will take to clear a property and the runway where that property sits. They’re currently refining an online map that will help show where crews are working, where they’ll be headed next, and what sites are complete. We hope to be able to share that in the coming days. Program participants can reach out to us at any time using the debris@bouldercounty.org email if they’d like to know more about the anticipated schedule


Rick Sallinger