The Marshall Fire made its mark on history when it swept through Colorado on Thursday, Dec. 30.
The blaze is believed to be the most destructive in the state’s history after officials estimate it scorched hundreds of homes in Boulder County, McClatchy News reported.
“There are still areas burning inside the fire zone — around homes and shrubbery and that kind of thing — but we’re not expecting to see any growth in the fire,” Joe Pelle, Boulder County sheriff, said during a Dec. 31 news conference.
Pelle said an estimated 6,000 acres have burned in the blaze, which was reported northwest of Denver.
So, how does the Marshall Fire compare to the size of other destructive events?
As of Dec. 31, the Marshall Fire covered a smaller amount of acreage than past ones reported in Colorado. The state’s largest reported blaze was the Cameron Peak Fire, which burned more than 208,913 acres in 2020. The second largest wildfire — East Troublesome — was also last year and burned nearly 194,000 acres.
All of Colorado’s biggest fires broke out in the past two decades and each of those spanned more than 31,000 acres, according to the Colorado Department of Public Safety’s Division of Fire Prevention & Control.
While the Marshall Fire was smaller, officials said it was so destructive because it took just hours to move through a populated area. Residents and others raced to escape as videos shared on social media showed smoke rising into the air and flames engulfing homes, McClatchy News reported.
Marshall Fire was reported the morning of Dec. 30 and spread through the Louisville and Superior communities. More than 500 homes were believed to have been destroyed as of that evening, according to the Boulder Office of Emergency Management.
The damage was reported after another blaze — the Middle Fork Fire — broke out in the same area. It was later contained.
Officials haven’t announced fire-related deaths but said debris injured at least one person.
This story was originally published December 31, 2021 2:00 PM.