UW Combined Fund Drive

January 4, 2022

Colorado Wildfire: How to Help Victims of the Marshall Fire

A Boulder Rural Fire Department firefighter approaches a burning home near Trail Ridge Road and Washington Avenue in Louisville, CO, on Dec. 30, 2021. The Colorado Sun / Jeremy Sparig

The December 30 Marshall fire in Boulder County, Colorado, forced thousands to flee from their homes as flames exploded across 6,000 acres, propelled by wind gusts of more than 100 mph.

In less than 24 hours, the fire destroyed some 600 homes. Many of the 35,000 people forced to evacuate will not have a place to return to once the dust has settled. In all, 991 structures were destroyed in the region. Thankfully, though hot spots remain, the fire is now contained.

Photos: Aftermath of the Marshall Fire

The fire damaged or destroyed between $819 million and $1.6 billion worth of homes alone, not including the valuations of the businesses, and has become the most destructive in Colorado’s history.

How You Can Help

Those in the area who wish to volunteer to help families affected by the Marshall Fire can do so by signing up at ColoradoResponds.org.

The American Red Cross

The American Red Cross (charity code 0337346) provides many relief services in the aftermath of a major storms and tornados, including sheltering and feeding residents, distributing clean-up supplies such as shovels, rakes, tarps, and work gloves, conducting damage assessment of impacted homes, providing mental health support, including counseling for families impacted by storms and tips on self-care and how to cope.

The American Red Cross is in urgent need of blood donations to be delivered to hospitals in the affected areas, as they are experiencing the worst blood shortage in over a decade.

Volunteers may also be needed for this and other disasters. Review the most urgently needed volunteer positions at redcross.org/volunteertoday.

The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army (charity code 1478728) works to provide food, drinks, shelter, emotional and spiritual care and other emergency services to survivors and rescue workers. Online: give.helpsalvationarmy.org/. By phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769).

Direct Relief

Direct Relief (charity code 0316325) is responding to the Colorado wildfires with medical support and information and analysis for responding agencies.

Feeding America 

Feeding America (charity code 0464861) is committed to providing meals, water, and supplies to heavily impacted areas through their national disaster relief program.

Humane Society

Humane Society Disaster Relief (charity code 0314983): Our Animal Rescue and Response team is prepared to answer the call for any large-scale emergencies, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, earthquakes, utility outages and more.

Further Support

The Marshall fire highlights the incredible work of firefighters and environmental protection organizations. Washington and the whole of the Western U.S. face increased fire danger each season as climate change worsens droughts. Consider setting up monthly payroll deduction or making a one-time gift to any of the following local UWCFD member organizations:

University of Washington Forest Resources Scholarship Fund (charity code 1480131): To provide support for students enrolled in the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences.

Washington State Fire Fighter’s Association (charity code 0518389): The Washington State Fire Fighters’ Association provides information education benefits and representation to the volunteer fire service of the State of Washington in order to enhance their capabilities and professionalism.

Washington State Council of Firefighters Burn Foundation (charity code 0457346): Provide funding for burn research and public burn education fire prevention programs and summer camp for children with burn injuries through a system of grants.

The Soup Ladies (charity code 1481469): Our mission is to provide fresh cooked meals expeditiously to support first responders such as police and fire departments, search and rescue teams and military personnel in times of emergencies and disasters.

EarthShare Washington (charity code 0316709): Funds more than 60 leading organizations that provide for livable communities and a healthy planet. Together, we are ensuring a cleaner, greener future. Includes the National Forest Foundation.

American Forest Foundation (charity code 1478546): The American Forest Foundation AFF works on-the-ground with families, teachers and elected officials to promote stewardship and protect our nation’s forest heritage.

The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (charity code 1482288) – Sponsors Memorial Weekend honoring America’s fallen firefighters Assists their families with scholarships and emotional support programs Provides training for fire service Building National Memorial Park.

Educate Yourself & Be Prepared