Human remains found near suspected origin of Colorado wildfire | Colorado

Investigators have found partial human remains in an area near the suspected origin of the destructive Colorado Fire that erupted last Thursday.

In a statement released Wednesday, the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office said investigators located partial human remains of an adult in the Marshall area south of Boulder.

Authorities are conducting a separate search for a missing person in the hard-hit community of Superior.

The late-season wildfire driven by hurricane-force winds tore through two densely populated Denver suburbs, consuming nearly 1,000 homes and becoming the most destructive wildfire in state history.

The fast-spreading blaze has forced 35,000 people to flee their homes, but so far only two people are missing. That’s a remarkably low number of possible casualties, experts and disaster authorities say, especially since a public warning system didn’t reach everyone and the winter blaze took hold. many people off guard.

Several factors worked in favor of the evacuees: the fire occurred during the day and during the holidays when many were at home in mostly affluent neighborhoods where most residents have easy access to vehicles and could flee because the region has an extensive road network.

It also might have helped that the area has seasoned emergency management personnel who have worked on other recent wildfires, major flooding in 2013 and a supermarket mass shooting last March.

“Overall, it’s a truly miraculous evacuation,” said Thomas Cova, a University of Utah professor who studies emergency management and fire evacuations. “So close to populated areas…spotting fires everywhere and 100mph winds – I think it’s unbelievable that there are only two people missing.”

Authorities did not say how many people have been contacted through the emergency system, which sends a recorded alert or text message to phones. The alert may have saved lives, but some residents affected by the fire later complained that they never received it.

Neil Noble, who fled his Louisville home on Thursday, said the first he heard about the fire was from a FedEx delivery driver who knocked on his door to drop off a package. After going for an errand and seeing the traffic jam as the plume of smoke rose, he decided to leave with his three teenage boys.

“I’ve spoken to dozens of people, even those whose homes have burned down, and no one seems to have received a notification,” he said.

But while the emergency notification system hasn’t reached everyone, Boulder-area residents have seen enough fires along Front Range communities at the foot of the Rocky Mountains to respond quickly when smoke appears on the horizon, she said.

Sharpening this awareness of danger is a growing understanding that the climate crisis is worsening wildfires even as subdivisions sink deeper into fire-prone areas.
“I think one of the changes that will follow this fire is that people will start thinking, ‘Am I at risk? I thought I was safe, living in a suburb,” she said. “I don’t think it’s a bad thing to question that. Anything that can help people better prepare for the dangers we face is a good thing. »

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