How to help people devastated by the Marshall Fire

Photo courtesy of Boulder County Wildfire Fund A man stands in the rubble of a destroyed house in Boulder County following the Marshall Fire.

SAGUACHE COUNTY — On Dec. 30, 2021, Colorado looked on in horror at images of the devastating Marshall Fire in Boulder County.

The unusual winter fire swept through two towns in Boulder County, destroying entire neighborhoods and businesses.

To date, 991 structures were destroyed in the Marshall Fire. The devastation was immense, with 553 homes in Louisville, 332 homes in Superior, and 106 homes in the rural areas as of Jan. 8, with possibly more added to the total in the coming weeks.

Three people were still reported missing, many people lost their beloved family pets, farm animals, and their businesses.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, and theories range from downed power lines to a structure fire, according to Boulder County officials.

“We don’t know that the shed or anything else around it was the start of the fire or if it was secondary and it’s complicated,” stated Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle of the investigation. “We’re going to bring in the best people in the country. We’re going to do this right and we’re not going to rush.”

The fast-moving fire was fanned by over 100 mph wind gusts and was exacerbated by drought conditions.

With this type of extreme event, many people are wanting to help the people who lost everything. The best option to help those affected by the Marshall Fire is to give to a reputable charity organization.

It is a sad fact that scammers often use well-publicized tragedies to take money from people wishing to help victims. Fake Go Fund Me pages, false Facebook donation pages, calls from people posing as charity workers and similar scams have been seen so far.

The best way to avoid these scams is to donate directly to the charitable agencies in the Boulder County area. The Boulder County Community Foundation has created the Boulder County Wildfire Fund and is accepting cash donations for victims of the fire. You can donate at www.coloradogives.org/bouldercountywildfirefund. This is a tax-deductible donation as the Boulder County Community Foundation is a non-profit organization. As of Jan. 5, the fund had raised over $12 million to help those affected by the fire.

Neptune Mountaineering was also holding a coat and shoe drive. They were accepting donations of new or like-new winter layers and shoes for people who lost clothing in the fire. Donations can be made at their store in Boulder at 633 South Broadway.

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