“Disaster in time lapse”: Fire in Colorado destroys entire streets

“Disaster in Time Lapse”
Fire in Colorado destroys entire streets

Forest fires in the middle of winter are more than uncommon. Nevertheless, severe fires are raging in the US state of Colorado, destroying around a thousand houses. Several people are listed as missing. The cause of the disaster is still unclear, but there is a search warrant.

According to the authorities, almost 1,000 houses and other buildings were destroyed in the recent fires in the US state of Colorado near the city of Boulder. According to the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, 991 buildings fell victim to the flames and around 130 other buildings were damaged, according to an initial survey. It is to be expected that the number of burnt down and damaged buildings will increase with more detailed inspections.

On Friday, the authorities had assumed that around 500 houses would be damaged or destroyed. According to civil protection, three people were initially still missing after the fires, seven had been injured. The authorities therefore want to use search dogs to rescue the missing as soon as the weather permits.

Smaller sources of fire had spread rapidly in the area on Thursday, favored by sometimes very strong winds. Aerial photographs showed entire streets with only a pile of ashes left from the houses. Other houses in the neighborhood remained unharmed for unknown reasons.

Third-party debt not excluded

Around 34,000 residents should seek safety in the towns of Louisville and Superior. The cause of the fires is still unclear. Officials initially speculated that the fires, which are atypical for the winter season in the region, were triggered when the wind tore power lines to the ground. However, Sheriff Joe Pelle said Saturday no broken power lines had been found. There is a search warrant because of the fires, he said, without giving any further details.

A drought in the region that had lasted for months had favored the spread of the fires. The remaining embers were covered with around 20 centimeters of fresh snow on Saturday night, which is why the fire was no longer considered a threat. According to media reports, the fire, known as the “Marshall Fire”, had spread over an area of ​​around 24 square kilometers.

“It was a time-lapse disaster,” Colorado Governor Jared Polis said. “Many families had just minutes to put whatever they could – their pets, their children – in the car and drive away.” Polis had already declared a state of emergency for the district northwest of the regional capital Denver on Thursday. US President Joe Biden also approved a declaration of emergency under federal law, which allows additional help for those affected.

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