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The Fire This Time

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This is a very bad situation:

A wind-whipped grassfire roared east from Boulder Thursday afternoon, destroying at least 500 homes, closing major highways and causing the evacuation of more than 30,000 people in two towns, including hospital patients.

The Marshall fire, which officials said likely was sparked by downed power lines in the winds that reached gusts of more than 100 mph, grew to 1,600 acres by 5 p.m., Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said in an evening news conference.

“The end won’t come until the wind subsides,” Pelle said. “This is the kind of fire you can’t fight head on.”

More than 200 structures may have been lost to the flames in downtown Superior, including a hotel, he said. More than 300 homes were on fire in a single neighborhood.

For people who don’t weigh into the 700+ comment threads, our Boulder correspondent Paul has a personal update:

I’m stuck in OHare while my wife and kid try to figure out whether to evacuate as our house is on the border of a crazy wildfire, pushed by 110 mph gusts and no precipitation for the last four months. The mandatory evacuation area starts about half a mile east of us. The two towns directly to the southeast of Boulder are supposed to be completely evacuated. Of course the roads are totally gridlocked so it’s hard to see what the point of trying to drive now is.

Stressed out of my mind

I assume I can speak for the entire LGM community with the possible exception of the Brazilian sockpuppets when I say I hope Paul and his family will be safe, and for the minimum amount of damage to Boulder and its surrounding cities.

…second Campos update:

Our old house in Louisville just burned down.

My wife and our youngest are being evacuated to Denver by a friend, more at this point because of fear of the power going out, as the fires are staying east of Boulder proper. There’s a snowstorm coming tomorrow and they will be better off at her parents’ house. I just landed in Michigan as I’m visiting my very elderly parents for the holiday, and we can’t all travel because the youngest can’t be vaccinated yet.

I need a drink.

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