A high-fire wildfire in Colorado spread to suburbs near Denver on Thursday, burning at least 500 homes and forcing tens of thousands of residents to evacuate.
Here is what we knew until Friday morning:
How and why did the fire spread?
The fire, which started Thursday morning, spread at an astounding speed Suburban neighborhoods in Boulder County. Authorities say at least 1,600 acres were burned by Thursday evening.
The specific cause was not clear until Friday morning. Boulder County Sheriff Joe Belle said Thursday that he believes the blaze was caused by fallen power lines.
An unusually late wildfire broke out in Colorado Severe drought conditions In recent months such flames have set the stage for easy spread. And they closed for a year Intense wildfire And other extreme weather events across the western US.
A state of emergency has been declared.
Authorities say at least 500 homes, a business complex and a hotel were burned in the blaze on Thursday. No casualties or major injuries were reported until early Friday morning. But some residents lost power, while others compared the damage from the 2013 wildfire, at the time, The most devastating in the history of Colorado.
Governor Jared Police on Thursday Declared a state of emergency, The decision to allow the state to tap emergency funding and use the Colorado National Guard and other resources. He called fire “the power of nature.”
Boulder County officials also issued eviction orders to the superior, Louisville And for some residents Broomfield And Westminster, A city of about 116,000 people. All of those communities are located between Boulder and the capital, Denver.
Officers in Broomfield Removed an eviction order Late Thursday, high winds in the Boulder area All were canceled. Boulder County Emergency Management Office Said There is no danger to other districts.
The fire spread by the wind.
The wildfire was spread by strong winds including The wind was blowing at 110 mph.
Strong winds cut off electricity in the Boulder area and complicated the evacuation of residents, but were mostly dead early Friday morning.
Two weeks later the wind came A powerful storm system Formed dust clouds in Colorado and other extreme weather throughout the Midwest.
What happens next?
Representatives from the Emergency Management Office are expected to announce the fire and damage to the media at 10 a.m. local time on Friday.
It was snowing In the forecast Keith Mussalman, a Boulder-based ice hydrologist, said Friday would bring significant relief to the Boulder area, and a major snowstorm to a dry area. Told the Associated Press.
Still, a Air quality advice The fire affected areas were in effect until noon on Friday. Many of the people evacuated on Thursday were still wondering if their homes had escaped the attack.