Boulder County residents were left terrified when the Marshall Fire sparked on Dec. 30. Unfortunately, a lack of emergency alerts exacerbated their fears.

According to 9News, emergency alerts about the fire only automatically went out to landlines — something that many residents no longer have. People did not receive alerts via cellphone or email if they hadn't previously opted-in to the emergency alert service.

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"It seems unreal, at this day and age, when I haven't had a landline in, I don't know how many years, like 16, 17 years?" resident Amber Tetreau said to the station. "I would like to have thought that in this day and age that we would have better capability to let people know when things like this are happening."

Another resident told 9News he only knew about the fire because a neighbor told him she saw flames. Text alerts did not go out, although Boulder County officials are working on setting them up.

Read on to see how you can set up emergency alerts in Northern Colorado.

How to Receive Emergency Alerts in Larimer County

Like Boulder County, Larimer County requires you to register your device to receive emergency alerts on your cellphone.

The county sends alerts via LETA911's NOCOAlert system. You can register for alerts via LETA911 here or via NOCOAlert here — although LETA911 suggests making NOCOAlert your primary emergency information resource. You can also register by texting NOCOALERT TO 888777.

How to Register for Emergency Alerts

Once you're registered, you can choose how you want to receive alerts (texts, calls, emails, pagers). You can also request alerts about specific locations and opt-out of alerts that aren't relevant to you.

While registering your cellphone is the best way to ensure you receive alerts, a LETA911 representative told Townsquare NoCo that "if the emergency is large/widespread/fast-moving, we will push the alert to the cellphones much like an Amber Alert."

How to Receive Emergency Alerts in Weld County

In Weld County, you also have to register your device to receive emergency alerts on your cellphone.

The county sends alerts via the CodeRED Emergency Communications System, which you can sign up for here.

Weld County Government//Facebook
Weld County Government // Facebook.
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The system primarily communicates via a pre-recorded voice message, but you can choose to receive one text message per emergency alert.

Along with your primary device, you can select a second phone number to receive alerts; however, you cannot choose specific locations to be alerted about. Unlike Larimer County, the system does not reach pagers.


Learn more about how to assist victims of the Marshall Fire here.

A Look at the Marshall Fire in Boulder County, Colorado

The Marshall fire in Boulder County destroyed 580 homes.

The fire started just after 11 a.m. Thursday, consuming football lengths of land in seconds in suburban areas. Frontline emergency personnel said they had never seen anything like it, according to Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle. 

Here are some scenes from the Colorado fire.

Have You Seen The Marshall Fire Aftermath? These Photos Are Heartbreaking

We all watched as the Marshall Fire blew through our Boulder County communities last week. These pictures of the aftermath are truly heartbreaking.