SUPERIOR, Colo. — In a matter of hours, the Marshall Fire burning south of Boulder destroyed more homes than any wildfire in Colorado state history.
High winds pushed the flames east, engulfing entire subdivisions and forcing tens of thousands of Coloradans to leave their homes.
According to Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle, more than 580 homes were burned as of Thursday evening. That count doesn’t include the homes that have burned in Louisville and other parts of Boulder County. It also doesn’t account for the businesses that have been impacted by the fire.
While the Marshall Fire may not be the largest in state history, when the damage is completely assessed, it could prove to be twice as destructive as the Black Forest Fire that burned in Southern Colorado nearly a decade ago.
In 2013 in El Paso County, 511 homes were destroyed in the Black Forest Fire. Another 28 homes were damaged.
Two people died in the Black Forest Fire: Marc Herklotz, 52, and his wife, 50-year-old Robin Herklotz, according to the El Paso County coroner.
The two were in their garage apparently preparing to leave when they died.
The Black Forest Fire burned more than 14,000 acres.
In 2020 in Grand County, 366 homes were destroyed in the East Troublesome Fire. It was one of several wildfires that year, and the second-largest wildfire in state history.
The East Troublesome Fire burned 193,812 acres. Only the Cameron Peak Fire burned more at 208,913 across on the other side of Rocky Mountain National Park.
Lyle and Marylin Hileman both died in the fire. One year later, their son Glenn is working to turn their property into the dream home his parents wanted.
In 2012 in Southern Colorado, 346 homes were destroyed in the Waldo Canyon Fire.
The fire started June 23, three miles west of Colorado Springs. Three days later, it exploded in a firestorm eastward toward the city in extremely hot, dry, and windy conditions.
Flames engulfed several neighborhoods. Two people were killed in their home. As many as 32,000 people were evacuated.
The Waldo Canyon Fire burned 18,500 acres.
In 2012 in northwest Larimer County, 259 homes were destroyed in the High Park Fire.
The fire was caused by a lightning strike and started burning on June 9. It was fully contained by June 30.
The fire burned more than 87,000 acres. A 62-year-old woman was killed in the fire.