PHOTOS: Marshall Fire in Boulder County burns hundreds of homes

A wind-whipped grassfire roared east near 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 100mph, grew to 1,600 acres by 5 p.m., Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said in an evening news conference. More than 200 structures may have been lost to the flames in downtown Superior, he said.

“We are literally watching it burn,” Superior Mayor Clint Folsom said. “This is devastating for our people.”

Click here for Marshall fire and Middle Fork fire updates.

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