A year and a half after the most destructive fire in Colorado's history broke out, victims finally have answers on the cause of the Marshall Fire. At approximately 11 a.m. on December 30, 2021, the Marshall Fire started as a grass fire and quickly became an inferno in Boulder County. The Marshall Fire burned more than 6,000 acres, destroyed more than 1,000 buildings, and claimed the lives of two people.

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Getty Images

According to KDVR, residents at a home located on Eldorado Springs Drive started a fire to get rid of tree branches and scraps at the home six days prior to the Marshall Fire. It is believed that the residents conducted the fire in a responsible matter with a large water source nearby. The fire at this home was buried, but on December 30, high winds uncovered the fire, and the embers were exposed to oxygen and ended up in nearby vegetation that was dry.

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The residents of the home attempted to put out the reignited fire, however, the flames were faster than the attempts to put out the blaze.

Two Separate Blazes Started the Marshall Fire

A second fire started an hour later at the Marshall Mesa Trailhead. The investigation into this location of the fire has shown that the most likely cause was due to hot particles discharged from a powerline by Excel Energy. The powerline in question showed evidence of electrical arcing.

Authorities Still Investigating Origins Of Deadly Fire In Boulder County, CO
Michael Ciaglo, Getty Images

The district attorney's office says that there is insufficient evidence for justified charges for the Marshall Fire and no one will be charged. KDVR also says that the Boulder County Sheriff's Office cannot rule out an underground coal fire as the possible cause of the second fire at the Marshall Mesa Trailhead.

Five days after the Marshall Fire started, the most destructive fire in Colorado's history was fully contained on January 4, 2022. The fire burned 6,026 acres in total.

Wildfires Break Out Across Boulder County In Colorado
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Source: KDVR

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