Saturday March 2, Red Flag Warning. No Open Burning in Boulder County

Marshall Fire Recovery Milestones

Marshall Fire Recovery Milestones

The following list highlights the recovery milestones made to date (Dec. 16, 2022) in a collaborative effort between Boulder County, the City of Louisville, the Town of Superior, and several local, state and federal partners, to assist those affected by the Marshall Fire and Wind Event on Dec. 30, 2021.

Boulder County

  • Community Planning & Permitting
    • Adoption of streamlined review for rebuilding of damaged and destroyed structures in the Marshall Fire (Article 19-500 of the Land Use Code).
    • Rebuilding Coordinators assigned to all property owners who lost homes in the Marshall Fire.
    • Building Code changes extending wildfire protection to Wildfire Zone 2 of unincorporated Boulder County.
    • Land Use Code change that allows accessory dwelling units (ADU’s) for properties where the house was destroyed in the Marshall Fire (phase 1 of an evaluation to broaden ADU allowances county-wide).
    • Private debris clean-up (in addition to PPDR).
    • 28 Building Permits issued in unincorporated Boulder County.
    • 16 Building Permits under review in unincorporated Boulder County.
    • More than 10 permits issued for new accessory structures in unincorporated Boulder County
    • Work in coordination with OSCAR and State to help craft legislative and program enhancement to assist people in building back greener.
    • Facilitated or participated in over 12 meetings to hear, understand, and address the needs of residents.
    • Facilitated or participated in builders expo and numerous meetings to assist property owners in green building opportunities.
    • Coordinated and participated in collaborative damage assessment process. Quickly documenting and communicating damage to the community and FEMA to help us quickly access funds.
    • Helped to expand damage assessment to include mobile home communities.
  • Office of the Clerk & Recorder
    • Our Elections Division worked with state legislative leaders to pass new Colorado legislation to ensure displaced voters could continue to vote indefinitely from their former residential if they intended to rebuild and return.
    • Our Recording Division directly assisted nearly 200 property owners with document replacement such as deeds and marriage certificates.
    • Our Motor Vehicle office had a presence at the DAC for two weekends following the Marshall Fire where they processed at least 250 duplicate titles for residents whose titles were destroyed in the fire.
  • Housing and Human Services
    • In the days following the devastating Marshall Fire and the strong winds that drove its intensity, Boulder County Housing and Human Services helped put together and lead a multi-agency and multi-jurisdictional Disaster Assistance Center (DAC) in Lafayette that served thousands of impacted families and individuals as they struggled to figure out next steps and get the help they needed. Thanks in part to money generously donated by people across the U.S. and around the world to Community Foundation Boulder County and Elevations Credit Union as well as county funds, and supported by over 27,000 hours of county staff time, Boulder County Housing and Human Services helped lead the distribution of $9,221,421 in financial assistance to over 4,100 households impacted by the Marshall Fire and the strong winds on December 30. Here are some details:

Funds by Distribution Type

Boulder County Marshall Fire Distributions Total Percent of Total
Damaged/Destroyed $5,150,000 56%
Smoke/Ash $1,720,000 19%
Wind Damage $1,505,000 16%
Small Business $310,000 3%
Employment Damaged/Destroyed $267,900 3%
Evacuee $170,521 2%
Loss of Tools of Trade $98,000 1%
Totals $9,221,421 100%

Funds Distributed by Community

Community Total Percent of Total
Louisville $4,206,410 46%
Superior $2,830,836 31%
Boulder $1,948,050 21%
Unknown/Other $235,375 3%
Broomfield $750 NA
Totals $9,221,421 100%

  • Office of Sustainability, Climate Action, and Resilience (OSCAR)
    • For months, Office of Sustainability, Climate Action, and Resilience staff met multiple times weekly with the Sustainability Coordinators of Louisville and Superior as well as partners at the Colorado Energy Office, the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, Xcel Energy, the Colorado Green Building Guild, and many others to strategize how to support homeowners rebuilding healthy, comfortable, and low carbon homes. Some accomplishments of that group include:
      • Researching and educating homeowners on the cost difference between 2018 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and 2021 IECC as well as clean electric homes versus methane gas homes; working with experts from RMI and SWEEP to counter misinformation on costs.
      • Working with Xcel Energy to craft their efficiency incentives for rebuilding homeowners, which we believe are the highest offered by any utility after a natural disaster. Xcel’s incentives range from $7,500 to $37,500.
      • Working with Xcel Energy include Boulder County’s BuildSmart building code in the eligibility for their $7,500 incentive.
      • Working with the Colorado Energy Office and lobbying for support for Senate Bill 22-206, Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Resources which provides $20 million to the Colorado Energy Office to distribute as loans and grants to help Coloradans rebuild efficient, resilient, and high-performance homes after wildfires and other climate disasters; and $15 million to the Department of Local Affairs to help fund resilient recovery efforts after disaster emergencies. SB22-206 also establishes an Office of Climate Preparedness to coordinate the state’s post-disaster recovery efforts and develop a statewide climate preparedness plan.
      • Using funds from the Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Resources bill, the Colorado Energy Office is offering $10,000 incentives for homeowners who electrify their heating and cooking. This incentive can be combined on top of Xcel’s incentives.
      • Working to ensure language access and equitable outreach to builder workshops; initiating a study to find the best ways of ensuring equitable access to contractor opportunities presented by disaster recovery.
      • Co-hosting five virtual workshops with the Colorado Green Building Guild on the topics of health, comfort, wildfire resilience, and available incentives. These sessions were live translated into Spanish and recorded.
      • Co-hosting three in person and live virtual info sessions on optimizing cost and comfort, equipment and material choices, and the available incentives.
      • Assisted homeowners at both builder expos.
    • Boulder County’s residential energy advising service, EnergySmart, started offering support for residential new construction for the first time including:
    • Created an application of Boulder County’s new climate equity map (working with Resilient Analytics) to map key demographic data against fire, smoke and wind damage to identify residents who might need more assistance in recovery due to racial or socioeconomic disparity.
    • Marshall wind damages to manufactured homes (MH)
      • County multi-departmental status update meetings on recovery efforts at San Souci are on-going
      • City of Boulder Climate Initiatives Office and OSCAR are partnering on a wind damage and energy efficiency assessment and repair pilot in the Ponderosa, San Souci and Table Mesa Village communities. The assessments (phase I) will utilize two area contractors to perform the opt-in inspections to identify needs.
      • County Recovery, Planning and Permitting and others have been working closing with San Souci residents who had their homes destroyed or substantially damaged to get those replaced or have the repairs necessary.
      • Understanding the insular nature of many manufactured home communities, as well as a proportionally larger percentage of underrepresented groups, trusted community connectors in each MH park are being identified so help in the outreach and engagement efforts by local governments and non-profit organization.
      • Additional funding by DOLA, ARPA, and other sources are being investigated to augment that if the county and city.
      • Created three video profiles intended to serve as inspiration and a source of information for those who are considering electrification as part of their rebuilding efforts. The speakers are Boulder County residents who, though not directly impacted by the Fire, have made the choice to add electrified elements to their homes and feel passionately about sharing the benefits they’ve experienced with others who are considering doing the same.
      • Record number of residents rebuilding high-performance homes after Marshall Fire: 41% rebuilding to standards that earn incentives for energy efficiency.
  • Parks and Open Space
    • Evaluated, repaired, and opened designated access points and trails for on-trail use by April 16, 2022.
    • Worked with FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Program to approve additional funding for fire-resistant materials for parks fire recovery projects.
  • Public Health
    • DAC – Staffed a PH table and assisted hundreds of residents with EH information. Also provided hundreds of PPE and Covid tests to impacted residents.
    • Wells (unincorporated Boulder County) – Partnered with Purdue university and tested over 24 homes private wells to determine if they were impacted by the fire.
    • Septic – Inspected over 120 homes in the county impacted by the fire to assess drinking water wells and septic systems. Waived septic permit repair fees for those homes with a previously approved septic system.
    • Stormwater – Successfully prevented stormwater runoff by ensuring all homes (1500) had mulch applied.
    • Soil Sampling and Hazardous Waste – Conducted a preliminary soil sampling study at 22 homes to determine debris cleanup guidance. Based on that sampling, soil testing was required for all homes undergoing debris removal. Much more protective than the visual inspection required by the State.
    • Outdoor Air – Implemented a network of 23 air quality particulate monitors around the burn areas to include individual notification of residents that opted into that service.
      • 1,643 subscribers watching 4,492 sites
      • 4,069 notifications sent
      • 5,400 unique visitors to the dashboard
    • Indoor Air & Healthy Homes
      • our Industrial Hygienist responded to over 300 fire-impacted residents’ questions and concerns.
      • Partnered with NOAA & CDPHE for testing and research of indoor air quality post-fire.
    • Food Safety – The team completed over 120 FRE inspections in Superior and Louisville. Out of the 120 facilities, 25 had direct impact from the fire, and of the 25, three may not reopen due to the severity of the damage.
  • Public Information/Translation
  • Public Works
    • FEMA approval of the county’s proposal to fund Private Property Debris Removal (PPDR) – work not ordinarily funded by FEMA.
    • $30M of federal recovery dollars obligated so far.
    • Provided 74 dumpsters for residents affected by the fire to dispose of spoiled food and water damaged flooring.
    • Removed the following materials from the right of way and from the curb for residents affected directly by the fire and residents affected from smoke and wind damage as a result of the fire and high wind event:
      • 50 tons of vegetative debris from the right of way
      • 4 hazardous trees – repurposed at BioChar Now (Biochar is a lightweight black residue used for carbon capture and sequestration
      • 15 hazardous tree limbs – repurposed at BioChar Now
      • 292 tons of construction and demolition debris
      • 8 tons of metal from the right of way recycled
      • 49 white goods removed and recycled
      • 8303 lbs of electronic waste collected from the curb and recycled
      • 7430 lbs of household hazardous waste collected from the curb
      • 83 abandoned automobiles removed from the right of way and recycled
    • PPDR got all debris removed from all 566 properties, by the first week of August; 6 weeks ahead of the originally planned schedule!
    • The PPDR program removed a total of 158,352 tons of ash and debris from properties destroyed by the fire.
      • 2,359 tons of scrap metal was recycled
      • 51,988 tons of concrete was recycled
  • Recovery and Resiliency
    • Worked in collaboration with the Navigating Disaster for Boulder County program to offer Recovery Navigators to offer long and short-term support to help residents navigate the recovery and rebuilding process. Navigators are assigned to individuals and families and work one-on-one to provide a broad array of support, including referrals to human service agencies and organizations, comprehensive recovery planning resources, financial resources for rebuilding, and mental health services. Navigators can also help fill out forms and connect residents with legal and insurance advisors, volunteers, and other experts.
    • Provide coordination of recovery activities as well as serve as the primary contact for local, state and federal partners
    • Respond daily to inquiries from fire/wind survivors and advocate
    • Manage the Debris Insurance Reconciliation Process.

City of Louisville

  • Debris Removal, Public Information, Rebuilding Process
    • All debris removal for homes and businesses complete
    • 122 rebuild permits issued and 58 permits under review
    • Permits issued for damaged homes:
        • 1,420 insulation replacement
        • 38 fence replacement/repair
        • 17 re-roof
        • 9 re-siding
        • 4 deck replacement/repair
        • 7 commercial repair
  • Developed use tax credit program for rebuilding.
  • Adopted exemption from Planned Unit Development (PUD) fence design standards.
  • Sent approximately 300 standalone public information publications
  • Creation of the following Louisville public information web areas to assist residents with available recovery resources, tracking and understanding the rebuilding process: Louisville Rebuilds and Louisville Recovery Dashboard.
  • Adopted an ordinance authorizing the Zoning Administrator to make zoning interpretations for affected neighborhoods to address inconsistencies in how regulations have been applied since original construction. This ordinance also authorized the Zoning Administrator to approve variances of up to 10% to facilitate reconstruction of homes.
  • Passed Ordinances allowing residents who lost homes and are rebuilding to opt out of the required 2021 Energy Code
  • Hosted 4 Rebuilding Better Workshops in collaboration with Boulder County and Superior.
  • Museum staff has hosted 9 Preserving Your Memories Workshops to connect the public with professional conservators to help them with the care and cleaning of fire and/or smoke damaged items and to record stories relating to their experiences of the Marshall Fire.
  • All impacted City facilities have been evaluated for damage, and all are in stages of repair nearing completion.
  • Economic Development and Personal Wellbeing
    • Participated in Recovery and Building Expos.
    • Continued business outreach, especially to those businesses most directly impacted by the fire.
    • Over 550 households/individuals have registered for the Boulder County Crisis Counseling program through Jewish Family Services.
    • Louisville Historical Museum has been doing urgent collecting in order to receive donations of photos, stories, and artifacts relating to the Marshall Fire and its aftermath.
      • Parents coming to the Library for storytime have had access to counselors to help them understand and support their kids experiences around the Marshall Fire
      • Library staff assisted patrons with online rental applications and other services, and directed them to all available resources based on their unique needs
      • Arts and Special Events staff planned two Breakfast in the Park events offering fire-impacted residents a place to meet up with their neighbors, chat with City staff or ask questions of Council members.
    • Recovery Navigators program developed and opened to provide a connection point for residents in need of help in working through the complex recovery and rebuilding process.
    • 5 Business Assistance Program agreements have been executed and there are 17 new sales tax license applications.
    • Majority of impacted businesses have reopened.
  • Parks, Open Space, Volunteering
    • Drinking Water – Volunteers distributed over 410 pallets of drinking water over 1,000 hours to Louisville and Superior Residents.
    • Space Heaters – 20,000 space heaters distributed to all impacted residents in Superior, Louisville and Greater Boulder County by Xcel Energy taking 156 volunteer hours.
    • Volunteers monitored dumpster sites post fire, assisted residents to dispose of refrigerator waste due to electricity outages– 125 volunteer hours.
    • Replacement and repair of 2.5 miles of burned fencing throughout Open Space and Parks.
  • Public Works
    • Flushing and testing of entire water distribution network to lift boil order.
    • All roads and sidewalks in burn area evaluated for damage, and cleaning and replacement needs.
    • Water services to homes evaluated for damage and water meter replacements procured in preparation for rebuild.
    • Water treatment plant and other City utility facilities evaluated for repairs needed, and repairs are in multiple stages of repair from planned to complete.
    • Storm water system evaluated for damage and debris, and cleanout is underway, in preparation for homes to be rebuilt and impacted areas reoccupied.
    • All fire hydrants in the burn area have been evaluated for damage and have either been repaired or are near to being repaired.
    • All damaged traffic signs, signals, and other safety measures have been evaluated, and are in multiple stages of repair, or are on track to be repaired.

Town of Superior

  • Debris Removal, Public Information, Rebuilding Process
      • 387 debris removal permits issued.
      • 376 lots cleared of debris to date.
      • 96 building Marshall Fire rebuild permits issued to date (25% of all impacted residential and commercial properties).
      • 65 additional Marshall Fire rebuilding permits currently in process.
      • $918,926.73 use tax, building permit and plan review rebates issued.
      • Created and distributed neighborhood specific regulation summary documents to provide clear information to residents and contractors aimed to expedite the rebuilding process.
      • Streamlined building permit review process to expedite Marshall Fire rebuilds.
      • Performed 813 site inspections for debris removal and rebuilding efforts to date.
      • Recovery and Building Expos – 2.
      • Partnered with Colorado Department of Local Affairs and Clarion Associates to design and implement a community engagement process including a series of town hall meetings and surveys aimed to better understand the experiences and needs of residents in Marshall Fire impacted neighborhoods.
      • Building Permit/Demo Permit Process Open Houses and Q&A Sessions hosted 3 hours weekly.
      • Performed 520 code and compliance related inspections and follow-up visits for various items such as resident assistance with curbside debris removal program and contractor interactions.
      • 14 large scale infrastructure projects currently in various stages including planning, requests for bids and underway. These projects in various stages of FEMA Public Assistance reimbursement.
      • Sent approximately 400 standalone public information publications.
      • Creation of the following Superior public information web areas to assist residents with available recovery resources, tracking and understanding the rebuilding process: Superior Recovers, Superior Recovery Dashboardand Marshall Fire Community Planning and Rebuilding Effort.
      • Provided personalized assistance to approximately 1,000 residents since the Disaster Assistance Center/Recovery Center in Lafayette closed on March 5. This assistance includes helping residents fill out forms and applications, connecting survivors to other agencies for specific issues including nut not limited to the State review process for modular homes, SBA Program and Recovery Navigator Program.
      • Provided a topographic survey to assist rebuilding efforts for 171 lots in the Sagamore neighborhood.
      • Provided a topographic survey to assist rebuilding efforts for Original Town (between Coal Creek and West Maple, and 1stAve to 5th Ave).
      • Amended zoning for the Sagamore Planned Development and Amended zoning for the R-L and R-M districts covering Original Town – easing setback and height requirements.
      • Passed Ordinances allowing residents who lost homes and are rebuilding to opt out of the required 2021 Energy Code and sprinkler requirements.
      • Passed an Ordinance allowing ADUs to be built and occupied prior to principal dwelling units to provide relief for ALE (Additional Living Expenses) limitations.
      • Through the Department of Sustainability, connected residents with green and sustainable rebuilding resources.
      • Participated in the Urban Land Institute’s (ULI’s) Technical Advisory Panel for Marshall Fire Housing Recovery and Resiliency (ongoing)
      • Conduct weekly building permit open house events to provide help to residents and contractors with building permit review questions.
  • Economic Development and Personal Wellbeing
      • Eight (8) new businesses have opened or are planning to open since the fire.
      • One (1) new development and two (2) redevelopment has been proposed.
      • All but 3 businesses have reopened since the fire.
      • Business Roundtable to discuss the support of businesses with recovery efforts.
      • Continued business outreach, especially to those businesses most directly impacted by the fire.
      • Over 550 households/individuals have registered for the Boulder County Crisis Counseling program through Jewish Family Services.
      • Free Art Therapy Program hosted by Cultural Arts and Public Spaces Advisory Committee and Superior Chamber of Commerce for current and displaced Superior, Louisville and Unincorporated Boulder County Residents who were impacted by the fire, fourteen sessions.
      • Solidarity Breakfast December 30 at Superior Community Center
      • Superior Youth Leadership Council sponsored Lasagna Love Program to provide holiday dinners for residents.
      • Partnered with Boulder County Recovery Office and Jewish Family Services for four sessions of Supporting the Supporter Resilience Training for one hundred (100) community providers and responders including recovery group leaders and municipal staff.
      • Partnered with Jewish Family Services to provide municipal staff responders with 10 free counseling sessions in conjunction with resident survivors and first responders.
  • Parks, Open Space, Volunteering
      • Playgrounds: debris removed and scheduled for replacement – 3Park Repairs completed for Wildflower Park, North Pool Park and Founders Park.
      • Historic Museum: debris removed and scheduled for replacement
      • Acres of irrigation repaired – 65 acres
      • Drinking Water – Volunteers distributed over 300 pallets of drinking water over 623 hours to Superior Residents.
      • Space Heaters – 20,000 space heaters distributed to all impacted residents in Superior, Louisville and Greater Boulder County by Xcel Energy taking 156 volunteer hours.
      • Linear ft of Fence replaced – 24,500 LF (contract), 1,902 LF (in-house).Trees planted to date – 35, more will be planted in spring of 2023.
      • Planting beds lost and replaced – 15
      • Volunteers monitored dumpster sites post fire, assisted residents to dispose of refrigerator waste due to electricity outages– 116 volunteer hours.
      • Volunteers went door-to-door throughout the areas in Superior affected by the fires to collect information and help residents fill out forms to support the curbside debris removal projects – 241 hours.
      • Disaster Assistance Center, Superior volunteers and Town staff manned approximately 350 hours.
      • Youth corps completed 1430 hours in total this season for mitigation and recovery work including: replacing 50 linear ft of fencing and removal of open space invasive weeds and noxious plants.
      • Volunteer efforts to remove noxious weeds in open space (3 events and 290 volunteer hours)
      • Partnered with Mile High Flood District on debris removal along Coal Creek and Rock Creek.
      • Conducted volunteer plantings of willows, milkweed, pollinators and native seed to help stabilize creek banks (85 volunteer hours).
      • Removal of over 150 dead trees, brush, limbs and debris in parks and open space areas.
    • Resiliency and Preparedness
      • Partnering with the Mountainview Fire Rescue, Boulder County, the State of Colorado and other neighboring municipalities to share knowledge, information, best practices, and collaborate when appropriate on projects and funding.
      • Staff joined the Boulder County Emergency Operations Center Multi-agency Coordinating System group.
      • Planning, design and installation of granular activated carbon (GAC) system to address smoky-tasting water issue resulting from ash from Marshall Fire deposited in Terminal Reservoir. Purchase of fire-retardant building to house and protect unit from the elements.
      • C-D pump station repaired and new building construction with mitigation measures incorporated for structural hardening and fire equipment housing underway.
      • Submitting grant applications for hazard mitigation efforts including wildfire fuel reduction, flood plain parcel acquisition and hardening of facilities and infrastructure.
      • Generated detailed maps of Open Space vegetation and noxious weeds that contribute to wildfire spread and intensity (32 acres)
      • Compiling information and maps of high-risk areas for wildfire in Superior.
      • Removal of invasive plant material that is known to contribute to wildfire (in parks & open space)
      • Transitioning planting beds to replace mulch with rock mulch during replacements.
      • Targeted seasonal mowing of high-risk areas in parks and open space.
      • Staff provides feedback for various recovery measures such as Colorado Department of Local Affairs Housing Recovery Program and Boulder County Ballot Measure 1A Wildfire Mitigation.
      • Attended wildfire recovery sessions at Colorado Open Space Alliance conference to learn how other communities are or have responded to wildfire recovery.
      • Facilitated community events and gatherings to support community healing, sharing, and recovery.
      • Partnership with Colorado Office of Emergency Management to provide informational site visits on disaster debris management and recovery topics for Jefferson County and Gilpin County officials.
    • Public Works
      • Flushing and testing of entire water distribution network to lift boil order.
      • Replacement of all damaged signs and Marshall/Sycamore traffic signals.
      • Townwide street sweeping to remove nails and debris from roadways – ongoing.
      • Storm water system evaluated for damage and debris and protection measures implemented at all stormwater inlets and detention ponds in fire-damaged areas.
      • All roads and sidewalks in burn area evaluated for damage, cleaning and replacement needs.
      • Fire damaged concrete removal and replacement project underway and is 80% complete.
      • Original Town Superior alley decontamination and replacement project underway.
      • McCaslin retaining wall (240 LF) replacement project 50% complete.
      • Sagamore park bridge replaced.
      • Water services to homes evaluated for damage and water meter replacements procured in preparation for rebuild.
      • Water treatment plant and other Town utility facilities evaluated for required repairs.
      • Ash removed from banks of Terminal Reservoir.
      • All fire hydrants in the burn area have been evaluated for damage and have either been repaired or are near to being repaired