30,000 Evacuated, Hundreds Of Homes Burned In Wind-Driven Colorado Wildfires

30,000 Evacuated, Hundreds Of Homes Burned In Wind-Driven Colorado Wildfires

On Thursday, a wind-driven wildfire forced tens of thousands of residents to evacuate near Denver as hurricane-force winds devoured homes and businesses. 

The wildfire began at 1030 local time Thursday and swept through suburban areas in Boulder County. At least 30,000 people were evacuated as fast-moving wildfires burned nearly 600 homes, a shopping mall, and a hotel. By night, the fire had burned 1,600 acres. 

#BREAKING OVERNIGHT: ‘Apocalyptic’ wildfires ravage Boulder, CO. At least 580 homes are destroyed, 30,000 people are evacuated, and six people are hospitalized. Crews believe it may have been sparked by a downed power line, then fueled by 105 mph winds. @fox6wakeup pic.twitter.com/24bWT2P4Sc

— Nikola Junewicz (@nikkijunewicz) December 31, 2021

This wildfire was the most destructive in state history in terms of destruction. The last fire to burn 500 homes was in 2013 and called the “Black Forest Fire.” 

The good news overnight is that the National Weather Service Boulder Office said winds calmed, and the fire is expected to simmer down. 

Here is a 200 frame radar loop which shows the smoke from the #MarshallFire. Cooler temperatures and lighter winds have decreased the fire activity this evening but there are still a few spots burning hot. #COwx pic.twitter.com/qTBdNEjS8U

— NWS Boulder (@NWSBoulder) December 31, 2021

A second fire was reported around 1100 local time, “ballooned and spread rapidly east,” Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said. The blaze engulfed roughly 2.5 square miles of land, but no building structures were lost. 

Both wildfires occurred late into the winter season and were fueled by hurricane-force winds, upwards of 110 mph in some recordings. 

“This is the kind of fire we can’t fight head-on,” Pelle said. “We actually had deputy sheriffs and firefighters in areas that had to pull out because they just got overrun.”

The fires prompted Gov. Jared Polis to declare a state of emergency, allowing the state to tap into disaster funds. Much of the evacuations were across Superior and Louisville and for some residents of Broomfield and Westminster. All the areas are near Denver. 

Broomfield Police tweeted absolutely shocking videos of the fire consuming homes. 

This video was taken by BPD Patrol Officers in Superior…E of US-36…this afternoon. Our thoughts are with our neighbors tonight who lost their homes and businesses. We continue to assist our law enforcement and fire partners as necessary. #MarshallFire #MiddleForkFire pic.twitter.com/ceydZAAfEM

— Broomfield Police (@BroomfieldPD) December 31, 2021

This photo was taken by one of our patrol officers off of St. Andrews Lane in Superior this afternoon. @broomfield @NMFirePIO pic.twitter.com/mjIQhhEBzv

— Broomfield Police (@BroomfieldPD) December 31, 2021

More videos of the fire have surfaced on social media. 

US Wildfires Burn Down Homes – Mass Evacuation in Colorado. Ferocious wildfires have been fueled by dry conditions & high winds, ripping through two Colorado towns on Thurs. It’s estimated around 600 homes & businesses were destroyed so far. pic.twitter.com/JUzMCxNZgO

— Demonscythe Swapshop (@demonscythsynth) December 31, 2021

Airline passenger aboard flight from Denver captures bird’s-eye view of wildfire burning in Boulder County, Colorado.

Gov. Jared Polis has declared a state of emergency. https://t.co/nnhyaX6W4B pic.twitter.com/u05F5URSCG

— ABC News (@ABC) December 31, 2021

The historic drought has made wildfires harder for firefighters to combat. Much of Boulder County hasn’t seen rain since mid-summer.

Tyler Durden
Fri, 12/31/2021 – 07:27

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