We know that many of our students, faculty and staff have been affected by the Marshall Fire, and our university will do everything we can to provide support. In the coming days, we will add resources and updates to this page as they become available

On this page:

For CU Boulder community members impacted by the fires

Boulder County residents affected should monitor the Boulder Office of Emergency Management website and the Boulder County Marshall Fire page for updates and resources.

The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office is urging people with questions about their homes or the status of the fire to call 303-413-7730.

The first priority in any emergency situation is safety. Beyond physical safety, unexpected natural disasters such as the one we are experiencing in and around the Boulder region can be devastating to our wellbeing. These events may additionally cause significant disruption to our lives or lives of those we care about. 

Disaster recovery

A Disaster Assistance Center has opened at 1755 South Public Road in Lafayette, offering services from Boulder County Housing and Human Services, Public Health, and Community Services, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Mental Health Partners, other area government and nonprofit organizations and insurers.

Boulder County has also launched a Marshall Fire resources page.

Financial assistance

CU Boulder community members impacted may apply for emergency funds via the Student Emergency Fund and Staff & Faculty Emergency Fund.

For housing and food assistance

If community members want to rent hotel rooms for short term housing needs, some hotels offer CU faculty and staff a CU rate if they use their CU Boulder Buff OneCard through the Preferred Hotel Program. Payment must be on a personal credit card (not a P-Card or Travel Card). The Boulder Convention & Visitors Bureau is highlighting discount hotels and hotels that are offering a third night free (conditions may apply).

  • The Boulder Area Rental Housing Association has a list of available properties for rent for displaced individuals.
  • If you are impacted by the fire and have not yet received further information about resources from the Dean of Students Office, please reach out to deanofstudents@colorado.edu
  • Students with current residence hall housing contracts in need of housing should reach out to universityhousing@colorado.edu.
  • The Buff Pantry is open for those in need of food this week. The pantry is also accepting donations.

Work and academic accommodations

Community members in need of WiFi hot spots or laptops should reach out to the Student Emergency Fund and Staff & Faculty Emergency Fund.

Employees and graduate students with teaching appointments in need of work or leave accommodations should contact their supervisors directly.

Students displaced by the fire should contact their instructors immediately and if they need further assistance, should contact Student Support and Case Management.

Teaching assistants should contact the instructor of record for their class.

Graduate part time instructors should contact their chair, director or associate dean.

The Office of Information Technology’s Hybrid Work Recommendations page has resources and best practices for transitioning to hybrid work.

For counseling and advocacy

It is perfectly normal to experience a heightened sense of worry and alertness. If you are finding that your worries are detrimental to your basic functioning or if you are needing to process the traumatic event, it may be time to reach out to a close friend, trusted community leader or professional counselor. 

  • The Office of Victim Assistance (OVA) is available to all CU Boulder community members experiencing major life disruptions, and provides free, confidential counseling, advocacy, information and referrals. OVA is available 24/7 at 303-492-8855; press menu option 2. Please note that when OVA returns calls they will usually be coming from a blocked or restricted number.
  • Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) provides free, confidential mental health services for students. They can be reached 24/7 at 303-492-2277.
  • The Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) offers counseling and consulting services to employees, both in-person and via telehealth. FSAP can be reached at 303-492-3020.

We understand that for many of you, there will be a long recovery from this traumatic event, and our university and campus community will support you in every way that we can.

Leave

Chancellor DiStefano is providing additional emergency leave and workplace flexibility for individuals directly impacted by the Marshall Fires disaster. Individuals impacted by the Marshall Fire disaster should review the Leave Options in Event of a Natural Disaster or Local Emergency Page.

Many employees are asking how to donate leave to the Leave Sharing Program or directly to a colleague. The leave sharing fund is currently healthy and no additional donations are needed at this time. Direct donation to an individual is not an available option. 

For community members who want to help

First responders ask people to refrain from dropping off unsolicited goods donations and instead use this form to arrange any donations of goods or services.

For those who want to donate to people in need during this time, you can directly support CU Boulder community members via Buffs Together. There are more giving and volunteering opportunities available via the Volunteer Resource Center.

FSAP has created a list of 9 tips for helping those lost their homes in the Marshall Fire.

The Boulder County District Attorney has warned people to be wary of scams, including fundraisers or “Go Fund Me” pages which could be posing as the people or organizations they are supposed to help.

Transportation

For those in need of transportation, CU Boulder can help. If you need a bike on campus, please email bicycle@colorado.edu. For other bike options around town, visit Boulder Mountain Bike Alliance. There is also free access for CU students to Boulder BCycle.

Colorado Carshare is also offering free carshare membership to those impacted by the fires.

FAQs

  • While the fires didn’t reach the CU Boulder campus itself, hundreds of students, faculty and staff have been directly affected. More than 700 employees and more than 600 students live in the evacuated areas. The homes of dozens of CU Boulder students, faculty and staff were damaged or destroyed, and reports of other damages are expected to rise.
  • In addition to the fires, extreme weather also hit the local community. Winds over 100 miles per hour knocked down trees around campus, shattered glass and caused power outages. Almost a foot of snow fell the following day accompanied by single-digit temperatures, which caused pipes to burst and flooded campus buildings.
  • The fires, wind and cold damage came amid a massive surge in COVID-19 cases due to the highly contagious and transmissible omicron variant. Boulder County experienced a 118% increase in positive COVID-19 cases over one week in late December, according to the Centers for Disease Control, further stressing the community’s infrastructure.
  • By delaying our in-person return, we are doing our part to support the community. The broader Boulder area is not in a position to welcome back thousands of students over the next week.
  • This will allow us to provide the support needed to our impacted students, faculty and staff who may not be able to teach, attend classes in person, or come to campus to support those activities.

  • Starting the semester in remote status, rather than implementing a two-week delay, preserves the current spring break schedule, which students have indicated is integral to their mental health and well-being. In addition, by starting the semester in remote status, we are also preserving the timing of Maymester and summer terms, which provide many students with important opportunities to take courses necessary to progress toward their degrees. Additionally, due to federal financial aid regulations, the university cannot have two regular academic terms—such as spring semester and Maymester—that overlap.

  • Students can move back into residence halls on Jan. 21.
  • Non-residence hall students are encouraged to delay their return to Boulder until Jan. 21.

  • CU Boulder community members in need of WiFi hotspots or laptops should reach out to the Student Emergency Fund and Staff & Faculty Emergency Fund.
  • Campus community members can contact the Office of Victim Assistance for advocacy, counseling and other support.
  • Students displaced by the fire should contact their instructors immediately, and if they need further assistance, should also contact Student Support and Case Management.
  • Employees should also contact their supervisors for assistance with accommodations.
  • Instructional personnel should contact their supervisors for assistance with accommodations. Usually this will be a chair, director or associate dean; in the case of TAs, this is the instructor of record for the class; for GPTIs, this is usually their chair, director or associate dean.

We are still evaluating how many employees were impacted by the Marshall Fire and the best ways to support those employees, which will limit availability of certain services. The following hours are effective until Jan. 24, unless otherwise specified.

  • University Libraries
    • Norlin Library will be open Jan. 3 – 7 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Norlin Library opening hours for Jan. 10 – 23 are being finalized based on the availability of student staff members; check the webpage for current information
    • Branch libraries will be closed through Jan. 23.
  • UMC Starting January 3:
    • Jan. 3-7: 8 a.m.– 6 p.m. (Mon–Fri)
    • Jan. 8-9: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Sat–Sun)
    • Jan. 10-14    8 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Mon–Fri)
    • Jan. 15-17   10 a.m. – 7 p.m. (MLK weekend)
    • Jan. 18-21   8 a.m. – 8 p.m.  (Tues–Fri)
    • Jan. 22-23   10 a.m. – 8 p.m.  (Sat–Sun)
    • Spring Semester Hours (starting Jan. 24)
      Monday–Wednesday: 7 a.m. – 11 p.m.
      Thursday–Saturday: 7 a.m. – 12 a.m.
      Sunday: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m

  • CU Book Store in the UMC
    • Open starting Jan. 3.
    • Monday, Jan. 3  – Friday, Jan. 7, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. 
    • Saturday, Jan. 8 – Sunday, Jan. 9, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. 
    • Monday, Jan. 10 – Friday, Jan. 14, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. 
    • Saturday, Jan. 15 – Sunday, Jan.16, closed
  • Tutoring, help rooms, and the Writing Center
    • Campuswide academic support resources (such as the Writing Center and ASAP tutoring) will offer remote sessions for students during the Jan. 10-21 remote weeks of the semester. Departments that offer tutoring and help rooms should also make their services available remotely during this time.
  • Study spaces
    • Study spaces will be available in most academic buildings from Jan. 10-21. There will also be general study areas open on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information on finding a place to study please visit find your study spot and the instructions for scheduling space with EMS. Norlin Library may or may not be able to offer study rooms for booking between Jan. 10-21, depending on staffing availability; see reserve a study room for more information as it is available. Branch libraries will be closed and will not have study rooms available for booking.
  • Computer labs
    • Campus computer labs will be available for normal use during the Jan. 10-21 remote weeks of the semester. At times, a lab may be booked for a remote class (with the machines being used remotely by the faculty and students in the class), so individual students will not be able to use the lab during those times.
  • Center for Teaching and Learning
    • ​​In addition to hosting a wide range of events and programs, the CTL offers individualized, confidential consultations free of charge to all educators on the CU Boulder campus. CTL staff members can consult on specific aspects of your teaching, hold a general conversation, or conduct a confidential classroom observation and/or interview. We can help you prepare for remote, hybrid, online or in-person classes. When needed, CTL staff can quickly connect you to appropriate campus support and resources. Contact CTL@colorado.edu.
  • Rec Center 
    • Monday–Friday: 7 a.m.–9 p.m.
    • Saturday–Sunday: 10 a.m.–9 p.m.

  • If an event venue and the related campus infrastructure can support a scheduled or confirmed event taking place before Jan. 24, the campus will support the event and allow it to occur.
  • Campus infrastructure includes access services, custodial services, security, catering, building and event staffing, etc.
  • The event host and event planner are responsible for coordinating with each other and with campus partners to be sure the venue and related campus infrastructure can support the event.
  • If campus infrastructure is not able to support an event, the campus asks the event host, event planner, and other campus partners to give grace with any cancellation policies and fees.
  • Campus event venues may decline to schedule any new events or activities before Jan. 24 if they do not have the infrastructural support to host new events or activities.
  • Events and activities must follow the current Events and Activities Policy.

  • While the omicron variant does appear to be more transmissible than other variants, vaccination continues to appear to provide the best defense against severe illness. The currently available data also demonstrate significantly lower rates of hospitalization among those who have been vaccinated. Please see cuboulder.edu/covid-19 for more COVID-19-related information and updates.
  • To comply with CU Boulder’s updated COVID-19 guidancemembers of the campus community are required to receive a vaccine booster shot by Feb. 24 or five months after receiving the final dose of the original series, whichever is later.

  • We do not have plans to switch to a fully remote semester at this time. We will continue to monitor local conditions – including local hospital capacity – to inform decisions that first and foremost protect the health and safety of our community.
  • Public health officials expect the omicron peak to occur in Colorado later in January.
  • While the case counts are significant, there is growing consensus that infections due to the omicron variant are less severe than delta. However, illness does impact staffing and campus operations.
  • Vaccination continues to provide the best protection against serious illness and hospitalization, and the high vaccination rate of our campus community (above 92% for all students, faculty, staff) continues to factor into our decision-making.

  • While we are beginning the spring semester in a remote status due to fire impacts, our Scientific Steering Committee and our campus Public Health Office will continue to meet frequently to assess specific conditions on our campus, in the Boulder community and statewide to make recommendations to campus leadership and to ensure that we are making decisions that prioritize health and safety based on the latest data.

  • Students who need accommodations due to COVID-19 should reach out to their instructors individually.
  • Students displaced by the fire should contact their instructors immediately and if they need further assistance, should contact Student Support and Case Management.

  • Graduate students with teaching appointments should contact their supervisors for assistance with accommodations. In the case of TAs, this is the instructor of record for the class; for GPTIs, this is usually their chair, director or associate dean.

  • The Provost’s Office will provide an update to academic instruction guidance early next week.

  • Students did not move out in the fall semester. We cannot allow someone into their leased space.

Hours for key services