NewsMarshall Fire


Tests show soil burned by Marshall Fire has safe metal levels

Posted at 12:35 PM, Apr 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-14 08:48:23-04

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — After testing soil burned in the Marshall Fire, Boulder County Public Health confirmed Wednesday that the amount of metals in the soil do not pose a significant health risk.

BCPH added that in most cases, the impacted soil has similar levels of metals as soil outside the burn area.

To test for potential issues, the BCPH selected 26 sites, 20 of which were near a home or structure that was destroyed and six that were in an unburned area. The latter would provide a baseline to show the normal amount of metals found in the area. Each spot was tested for 17 metals at various depths. BCPH reported that a "small number of tests showed slightly elevated levels of arsenic that are considered safe and within the range of normal levels for the area." Two areas had results above normal levels, but health officials said they do not believe that was due to the fire.

In one site in Old Town Superior, BCPH said it found elevated levels of antimony, arsenic, and cadmium, but follow-up testing showed the levels were high only at that single property and not the surrounding ones.

BCPH said it will use these results to create cleanup guidance for residents whose properties were impacted by the Marshall Fire.

READ MORE: Boulder County releases Marshall Fire debris cleanup schedule

BCPH confirmed that asbestos was not detected at any of the locations.

Click here or call 303-441-1564 to learn more about air, water and soil quality post-fire in Boulder County.

To read Denver7's coverage of the Marshall Fire, click here.