thejapannews– Major wildfires in Colorado have spread. with the help of 105 mph winds, destroying some 1,000 homes, forcing the evacuation of 30,000, and sending six people to hospitals.
“The end will not come until the wind subsides. This is the kind of fire you cannot fight head-on. We actually had deputy sheriffs and firefighters in areas that had to pull out because they just were overrun,” said Joe Pelle, Boulder County sheriff.
According to the Associated Press, the area most impacted by the wildfires is in between Denver and Boulder, a foothills college town home to the University of Colorado.
The Denver Post reported the Avista Adventist Hospital, located in Louisville, Colorado, was forced to evacuate patients to another facility as the fire approached.
However, CBS Denver said a major snowstorm, which could see 5 to 10 inches of snow, is forecast to reach the area on Friday, “bringing the biggest snowfall of the season” for the Denver area.
Officials in Boulder estimated the fire grew to 1,600 acres in Louisville, Superior and other unincorporated parts of the county. Evacuations were ordered for the nearby cities, which are located some 20 miles northwest of Denver.
Whole neighborhoods were engulfed in flames and residents were “literally watching it burn,” said Clint Folsom, mayor of Superior, as reported by the Denver Post.
Superior resident AJ Lauer, 38, told the Colorado Sun, “It was surreal. It felt like in a year of apocalypses, here we are having our own personal apocalypse right in the neighborhood.”
As thousands of residents evacuated their homes, COVID-positive individuals were told to move to Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, CBS Denver reported.
Meanwhile, Gov. Jared Polis has declared a state of emergency, which will enable the state to access emergency disaster funds.
Downed power lines are believed to have sparked fires in Boulder County, which has suffered from extreme drought and has not seen substantial rainfall since the summer.