As 2022 begins, Colorado firefighters are battling massive wildfires that has forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of people and destroyed nearly 1,000 homes.
The fast-moving blazes are burning in Boulder County, north of Denver. Governor Jared Polis called it a “New Year’s Eve miracle” that no deaths had been reported.
Some 30,000 people in the towns of Louisville and Superior were told to leave their homes on Thursday.
A state of emergency has been declared.
“It was in blink of an eye. This was a disaster in fast motion, all in the course of half a day,” Governor Polis said in a news conference on Friday.
“Nearly 1,000 homes are gone,” he added.
Winds of up to 105 mph (169 km/h) are fanning flames across the region amid a historic drought.
The cause of the fires is still being investigated by officials. However,h early reports indicate that they may have been sparked by downed power lines.
Officials say that downed power lines are the expected origin for the wildfires that erupted in the Boulder, Colorado area on Thursday, but that the investigation is ongoing pic.twitter.com/ZRN8tVfZoU
— CBS News (@CBSNews) December 31, 2021
Weather forecasters indicate that a major storm developing over the middle of the nation might aid firefighting efforts.
“Moisture that arrives in the area into the weekend can help to give firefighters an upper hand as they continue to battle the blaze,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Mary Gilbert said.
Forecasters say it will be cold enough for all snow to fall in the area with 6 inches or more of accumulation possible. This amount of snowfall should help to extinguish most, if not all of the region’s active blazes.
Colorado had the three largest wildfires in its history in the summer of 2020. But those fires burned federally owned forests and land, while the winter fires destroyed suburban developments and shopping plazas.
“It wasn’t a wildfire in the forest, it was a suburban and urban fire,” said Mr. Polis, a Democrat who lives in Boulder County. “The Costco we all shop at, the Target we buy our kids’ clothes at — all damaged.”
Prayers for the good people of Colorado impacted by the fire, for their safety and a speedy recovery from the disaster.DONATE
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