Colorado fire destroys hundreds of structures

By Fernando Alfonso III and Jessie Yeung, CNN

Updated 12:29 AM ET, Fri December 31, 2021
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8:44 p.m. ET, December 30, 2021

Marshall Fire destroys hundreds of structures in Boulder County

From CNN’s Caroll Alvarado and Kay Jones

A fire burns an Element hotel in Superior, Colorado, on Thursday, December 30.
A fire burns an Element hotel in Superior, Colorado, on Thursday, December 30. (Trevor Hughes/USA Today Network)

The Marshall Fire has destroyed hundreds of structures and has caused thousands of people to be evacuated, Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said during a news conference. 

As of Thursday evening, 580 homes have been lost in and around Superior, Pelle said. The Target Shopping Complex and the Element Hotel in Superior were also engulfed by the flames. 

The fire is currently 1,600 acres and has spread east across Superior and Louisville, southeast of Boulder.

There are currently no reports of causalities or missing people, but Pelle said he would not be surprised if the number goes up.

“I’d like to emphasize that due to the magnitude of this fire, the intensity of this fire and its presence in such a heavily populated area, we would not be surprised if there are injuries or fatalities," Pelle said.

One officer suffered a minor injury.

State aircraft has been unable to fly due to the wind conditions, according to Colorado Gov. Jared Polis. They hope to get aircraft up to observe the damage when it’s safe to do so, he said. 

“This fire is, frankly, a force of nature,” Polis said.

Pelle said that officials will conduct damage assessments as soon as possible, when it’s safe to do so. He said the winds are expected to die down on Friday and that officials will have a chance to get out and survey the damage.