(Superior, Los Angeles) Hundreds of homes have already been destroyed by a fire in Colorado on Thursday as the U.S. state was swept away by high winds amid a historic drought, officials said.
“We know that about 370 houses were destroyed in the Sagamore subdivision. 210 homes may have been destroyed in the Old Town Superior, ”Boulder County Sheriff Joe Belle told a news conference.
The city of Boulder, with a population of over 100,000, is located about fifty miles[50 km]from Denver, the capital of Colorado.
This state of the American West is experiencing a historic drought, which has greatly aided the displacement of fires. At least 648 hectares of vegetation in Boulder County were gutted by the fire, which included hotels and shopping centers.
Winds of up to 160km / h in some places extinguished the fire, complicating the efforts of firefighters.
“I would like to emphasize the size and severity of this fire and its presence in a very densely populated area. We would not be surprised if there are injuries or deaths,” Joe Belle warned.
Thousands of residents were ordered Thursday to evacuate their homes.
The evictions are particularly pertinent to the Louisville municipality, which has a population of 20,000.
“If you are in the area, act quickly,” Boulder County Emergency Services warned.
“Strong winds quickly spread the flames and all planes landed,” tweeted Jared Police, the governor of this mountainous state where the Rockies meet large plains.
“Leave Louisville or your life is in danger,” the U.S. Meteorological Agency said.
“Only ash left”
Another city, Superior, with 13,000 citizens, was covered in dark smoke on Thursday, according to images posted on social media.
Patrick Kilbride, 72, was fired from his job at a hardware store, according to the local Denver Post.
The 72-year-old rushed to his home in Superior to collect his belongings but could not save anything other than his car and the clothes he was carrying on his back. Her cat and dog died in the blaze.
He talks about the house where he lived for three decades.
“It’s a strange feeling to go from a situation where you have all the amenities that can be without anything,” he says. Denver Post.
Like most parts of the western United States, Colorado is currently battling a prolonged drought that exacerbates the region’s drought and is prone to fires.
If the latter is a natural component of the climate cycle, their range is increasing, destroying plants and reducing the spread of diseases within it.
With global warming, the intensity and frequency of drought episodes that threaten the food security of the population in particular may increase further even if the world controls global warming to +1.5 ° C compared to the pre-industrial period.
In addition, rising temperatures and rising heat waves and droughts create ideal conditions for forest or shrub fires.
In recent years, the U.S. West has experienced unprecedented fires, especially in California and Oregon.
For UCLA’s meteorologist Daniel Swain, it’s hard to believe that these fires will happen in December, which is generally a quiet time for such events in the region.
“But this season so far two centimeters of snow, high temperatures and drought have taken place and added to the storm with extreme downward winds (160 km / h and above) … the result is a very dangerous fire. Very quickly,” the researcher tweeted.