Human remains found near origin of Colorado wildfire

Casualties from the fire have remained low even as more than 1,000 buildings have burned

Sravasti Dasgupta
Thursday 06 January 2022 13:55
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US: Thousands Evacuate As Marshall Fire Spreads In Colorado

Colorado officials have found human remains while searching for missing persons related to the wildfire in the Marshall Road area last week.

Authorities said on Wednesday that the remains were found in a home and is likely to be the remains of one of the two people who had gone missing during the fire broke out, reported ABC-affiliated KMGH-TV.

“Investigators working in the 5900 block of Marshall Road, unincorporated Boulder County, have located partial human remains of an adult,” said a news release by the Boulder County Sheriff’s office, reported CNN.

“Investigators from both the Sheriff’s Office and Coroner’s Office continue to actively work at this scene.”

The news release added that the coroner’s office will determine the cause of the death.

Last week, the Marshall fire burned more than 1,000 buildings northwest of Denver and 6,200 acres of land.

While the fire was the most devastating one in the state’s history, casualties have remained surprisingly low.

At least 35,000 people were forced to flee their homes while only two people had remained unaccounted for, according to the Associated Press.

At a news conference on Sunday, Boulder County sheriff Joe Pelle said one of the initially three missing people had been accounted for, while the other two still remained missing.

“We are still missing a woman from the town of Superior and a man from out by Marshall. The search for those folks is still underway,” Mr Pelle said.

The third missing person who was found was from Superior, about 38km northwest of Denver, he added.

Authorities are trying to investigate the origin of the fire.

In Wednesday’s news release, the sheriff’s office said that “weather has been a factor in the speed at which the investigations and recovery are able to be conducted.”

On Sunday, Mr Pelle had said that the authorities were aware of a viral video depicting a shed set on fire in the area where the fire originated.

“We have a video of that shed burning.”

“But was it primary, was it secondary? What were the sequence of events? Those are all a lot of questions that need to be answered,” he said.

The video, along with eyewitness accounts, have also raised questions about whether the fire originated on land belonging to the Twelve Tribes, a fundamentalist fringe group.

On Wednesday, governor Jared Polis said the state’s focus is on rehabilitating its residents as the state gets ready for a visit by president Joe Biden on Friday.

“We’ll look forward to conveying to the president the needs of the community both short, medium, and long-term around housing and around rebuilding,” Mr Polis said.

“I think it will be valuable for him to see some of the impact firsthand.”

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