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Colorado wildfire approaches 1,000 properties destroyed

4th January 2022 - Author: Matt Sheehan

The recent Marshall Fire in Boulder County, Colorado is estimated to have destroyed 991 residential properties, with a further 127 damaged, according to official reports.

Source: Jack Dempsey/AP Photo

The wildfire, which broke out on December 30th, only burned through an area of some 6,000 acres over two days, but is still likely to become the costliest fire in the state’s history.

It was triggered by extremely warm and dry conditions, combined with down-slope wind storms, which are considered to be extremely rare at this time of year.

Insured losses from the Marshall Fire are thought to be around $560 million so far, although this figure could climb higher once other structures and commercial properties are factored in.

Based on average home values of between $600,000 and $800,000 in the impacted area of Boulder, insurance market losses could be closer to $700 million.

However, there are concerns over the ability of homeowners to recover the full reconstruction cost value of their homes, given that property prices and inflation in Colorado may have exceeded the property values stated in many insurance contracts.

According to the Boulder Office of Emergency Management, the City of Louisville has recorded the most properties destroyed by the Marshall Fire at present, with 553 destroyed and 45 further buildings damaged.

The Town of Superior is currently estimated to have 332 properties destroyed and 60 damaged, and the Unincorporated Boulder County area is estimated at 106 destroyed and 22 damaged.

The Office anticipates that more structures may be added to this list as more detailed damage assessment is completed and teams inspect additional areas impacted by the fire.

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