When the Marshall Fire, fueled by high winds, ripped through Boulder County last week, leaving more than 30,000 people homeless, the Castle Rock community wasted no time.
Led by the nonprofit organization Dads of Castle Rock (DoCR), donations, trailers and residents mobilized quickly to provide assistance to neighbors to the north.
Starting on Dec. 31, the day after the fire, DoCR starting accepting donations of all kinds in the Sam’s parking lot. With cars lining up and Castle Rock residents taking on the challenge to help, DoCR collected so much that they needed storage space, which was provided by the Douglas County Fairgrounds.
The weekend was not just about collecting donations to go towards helping the displaced families. With continued calls on social media throughout the weekend, DoCR also worked to save animals and livestock.
Using as many trailers as they could find, DoCR offered homes to show horses and other animals in need of relocating.
By Jan. 2, DoCR had collected so much that they were told to keep it at he Douglas County Fairgrounds for the time being.
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With a state of emergency officially declared in the tragedy, fire officials and authorities continue to assess the damage where nearly 1,000 structures were destroyed by the Marshal Fire.
The cause of the fire is still being assessed as well. Early reports of a downed power line were found to be inaccurate, and Boulder County authorities had acted on search warrants in the area of the fire’s origin at press time.
On Jan. 2, DoCR president Robert Zearing, via a Facebook post, said he received a call from the Douglas County Emergency Response Team about the work the organization did all weekend.
Zearing said DoCR will now be on a statewide list, “side by side with the Red Cross and Team Rubicon,” and will be called for all future state emergencies.
“Thanks to our efforts in community organizing, disaster relief, and boots on the ground,” Zearing said. “When this community comes together, it gets noticed, and positive things happen.”
The Marshall Fire is not the first time DoCR has sprung into action when neighbors or the community is in need. In 2021, the group helped save a local rancher’s horse stuck in a massive snowstorm, and when fellow dad Dustin Wakefield was killed while on vacation in Miami in August, DoCR worked to raise money for his widow, baby and mom.
With interest in the group growing, DoCR also expanded in 2021 to include other Douglas County communities.