Colorado wildfires: Sheriff says discovery of debris, heat-producing

Sheriff Joe Pele told a briefing that searchers are actively working on two scenes looking for unaccounted people as of Monday afternoon.

“It’s a very, very hard job, given the debris, the heat,” he said, adding the crew was limited to using small equipment.

On Sunday, the sheriff said his team was searching for a woman from the city of Superior and a man from Marshall.

The Marshall Fire flattened subdivisions through Boulder County on Thursday and burned more than 6,000 acres. Officials estimate that the fire destroyed about 1,000 homes.

Pele said the US Forest Service is helping Boulder County investigators find evidence of how the fire started and officials are talking to “dozens of people.”

“We haven’t eliminated or honored any one specific thing,” he said.

Governor Jared Polis told reporters the investigation would take time.

“What’s most important is being right, so whether it takes a week, a month or two months, being right is most important,” he said.

Investigators will exercise caution, the sheriff said, as there may be evidence that will emerge when the recent snowfall melts.

Officials said that no one has been reported dead as a result of the fire.

A man was arrested Thursday afternoon for threatening firefighters working at the time of a wildfire in Boulder County, Louisville Police Chief David Hayes said at a news conference on Sunday.

Three people are missing and feared dead after wildfires raging across subdivisions in Colorado County

“A gentleman armed with an assault rifle threatened firefighters working in the area,” Hayes said. “Several officers responded – Louisville officials, the Boulder sheriff’s representative and I am sure others – and we were able to safely detain the person.”

The chief said he had recovered “some weapons”.

Hayes was unable to provide details about why the man was threatening firefighters. He also could not confirm whether the person lived in a house in the area.

Asked if the man was trying to protect his property, the chief said, “I think (he) was probably angry and upset like a lot of people, but apparently, he was not doing so.” That’s not the way.”

The man’s father told CNN on Monday that the only reason his son had guns in his car was because everything he had was in the vehicle.

He said his son was in “shock” at the time and called the arrest “over-policing” during a very tense time. The father said his son was at his estate and was probably “deranged” because his family had lost everything, including irreplaceable family photos.

FEMA provides assistance to fire victims

The martial fire was one of two blasts that started on Thursday morning. Filled with strong winds, its flames spread through drought-stricken lands, covering the distance of a football field in seconds,” Polis said last week.

The second fire, known as the Middle Fork Fire, was quickly attacked and “put down,” Pele has said.

About 8 inches of snow has been seen in the areas affected by the martial fire, which has extinguished the flames, but also temporarily cut off the power. Officials estimate that the fire destroyed about 1,000 homes in Boulder County.

FEMA Administrator Dean Criswell said about 100 personnel from the Federal Emergency Management Agency have been assigned to assist victims of the Marshall Fire.

Criswell, who surveyed the fire damage with police on Sunday morning before speaking to reporters, said FEMA representatives would be at the disaster assistance center “starting today” to register individuals who were homeowners. Want additional help for expenses not covered by insurance.

Criswell told CNN’s Fredrica Whitfield after Sunday’s news conference that federal teams are working with state and local officials to clear debris and develop a housing strategy for immediate and long-term needs.

“Some people are still in state-run shelters and some are living with family and friends,” Criswell said. “We’re going to work closely with the state and see what we can do through our non-group shelter program that is part of the disaster declaration, as well as the other tools we have in our toolbox that will help us do this.” We are looking to see what the long-term options are that we have available to meet the specific needs of these communities.”

A destroyed home is covered with snow on Friday, December 31, 2021 in Louisville, Colorado.
President Joe Biden approved an emergency disaster declaration last week and a major disaster declaration on Saturday. Federal funding is now available to affected individuals in Boulder County, according to the Major Disaster Declaration Declaration, which can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs as well as low-cost loans for covered uninsured damages. .

Electricity is still out for about 400 customers in the burn zone area, according to Alice Jackson, president of power company Xcel Energy-Colorado.

CNN’s Sharif Paget, Joe Sutton and Christina Maxouris, Natasha Chen, Dakin Andone and Ala Alasar contributed to this report.


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