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Colorado fire: Up to 1,000 homes burned to ground as inferno declared most destructive ever

·33-min read
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  • Jared Polis
    American politician

Up to 1,000 homes have been burned in what is being called the most destructive blaze in Colorado’s history.

Horrifying aerial footage shows the devastating impact of the fast-moving wildfire fanned by powerful winds that ripped through towns near Boulder,Colorado, on Thursday, prompting the evacuation of about 30,000 residents.

As the fires raged, startling video, filmed from a plane flying above the state, shows the towns of Superior and Louisville engulfed in flames at multiple locations.

Officials have declared the fire the most devastating ever to impact the state.

Governor Jared Polis declared a state of emergency, allowing the state to deploy emergency funds and resources including Colorado National Guard.

The wind gusts of 110 miles per hour had pushed fire at an astonishing speed, burning across 6,000 acres and destroying more than 500 homes — possibly as many as 1,000. Some owners watched on door-cams as fire approached their homes.

“This fire is, frankly, a force of nature,” said Mr Polis. “For those who have lost everything that they’ve had, know that we will be there for you to help rebuild your lives.”

The grass fire is believed to have been ignited by sparks from power lines and transformers toppled by high winds of Colorado’s drought-parched Front Range, according to Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle.

The Boulder Office of Emergency Management has urged residents not to return to their homes.

Key points

  • ‘Fast motion’ blazes confound experts, ‘miracle’ no one dead

  • FEMA to pay 75 per cent of the firefighting cost

  • Governor declares state of emergency in Colorado

  • Thousands displaced as wild grass fire destroys hundreds of homes

  • Residents urged not to return to homes

  • Aerial footage shows raging wildfires as 30,000 people evacuated

Thousands displaced as wild grass fire destroys hundreds of homes

Friday 31 December 2021 04:02 , Namita Singh

Two northern Colorado cities on Thursday were ordered to evacuate as the wildfires fueled by 110-mph winds burned down hundreds of homes.

Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said in a press briefing that an entire subdivision of 370 homes in Superior had been burned, along with an additional 210 homes in the city’s old town neighborhood.

A hotel and shopping center were also destroyed. Evacuation orders were first issued in the town of Superior and then in the adjacent municipality of Louisville, which has a combined resident population of 31,000.

Governor declares state of emergency in Colorado

Friday 31 December 2021 04:19 , Namita Singh

Governor Jared Polis declared a state of emergency on Thursday due to the Marshall Fire in Boulder County.

“The declaration allows the state to access disaster emergency funds to support the emergency response efforts in Boulder and provide state resources including the use of the Colorado National Guard, Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control and activation of the State Emergency Operations Center,” according to the statement.

“Prayers for thousands of families evacuating from the fires in Superior and Boulder County,” said the governor. “Fast winds are spreading flames quickly and all aircraft are grounded.”

Firefighting conditions expected to improve as winds decrease

Friday 31 December 2021 04:42 , Namita Singh

According to the National Weather Service, firefighting conditions were expected to improve overnight as winds decrease late on Thursday.

The reduced speed would enable the firefighters to get ahead of the flames and for water-dropping helicopters and airplane tankers to be deployed against the blaze.

The agency however, extended the high-speed warning through 8 pm local time. Snow expected on Friday could help douse the blaze, reported USA Today quoting a National Weather Service meteorologist.

A home burns after a fast moving wildfire swept through the area in the Centennial Heights neighborhood of Louisville, Colorado on 30 December 2021 (Getty Images)
A home burns after a fast moving wildfire swept through the area in the Centennial Heights neighborhood of Louisville, Colorado on 30 December 2021 (Getty Images)

Louisville hospital forced to evacuate

Friday 31 December 2021 05:08 , Namita Singh

All patients and staff in the 114-bed facility of Avista Adventist Hospital was fully evacuated after a wildfire started not far from the hospital.

“As of 4.15 pm, Centura-Avista Adventist Hospital is fully evacuated. All patients were safely transferred to two of our sister facilities within Centura - Longmont United Hospital or St. Anthony North, and some were discharged from the hospital. All associates at this time have also been evacuated,” said the release from Centura Health.

A Louisville Fire Protection District vehicle races to another hotspot in the Centennial Heights neighborhood as a fast moving wildfire swept through the neighborhood on 30 December 2021 in Louisville, Colorado (Getty Images)
A Louisville Fire Protection District vehicle races to another hotspot in the Centennial Heights neighborhood as a fast moving wildfire swept through the neighborhood on 30 December 2021 in Louisville, Colorado (Getty Images)

Dramatic footage captures the chaos in Superior

Friday 31 December 2021 05:22 , Namita Singh

Dramatic video footage captured the extent of chaos in Costco in Superior as people evacuated following the wildfire that engulfed the region.

The video, which played out on Denver7 News, showed people trying to navigate their way through the dense smoke. The cars were moving slowly, as the residents tried to cross the road amid a drastically declined visibility range.

The sound of the fire brigade could be heard over that of strong winds as several attempted to get into their cars to escape the wildfire.

What caused the wildfire in Colorado

Friday 31 December 2021 05:47 , Namita Singh

The wildfire is believed to have been started by downed power lines, along with a combination of wind gusts over 100 miles per hour and widespread drought, according to Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle.

Daniel Swain, a meteorolgist at the University of California, tweeted that it was “genuinely hard to believe” these fires were happening in December, which is usually a quieter time for blazes.

“But take a record warm & dry fall, only 1 inch of snow so far this season, & add an extreme (100mph ) downslope windstorm...and extremely fast moving/dangerous fires are the result.”

Burnt out vehicles sit amidst the smoke and haze after a fast moving wildfire swept through the area in the Centennial Heights neighborhood of Louisville, Colorado on 30 December 2021 (Getty Images)
Burnt out vehicles sit amidst the smoke and haze after a fast moving wildfire swept through the area in the Centennial Heights neighborhood of Louisville, Colorado on 30 December 2021 (Getty Images)

High wind warning in Boulder county cancelled

Friday 31 December 2021 06:05 , Namita Singh

The National Weather Service cancelled the high wind warnings in Boulder county.

“Good news. The High Wind Warning have all been cancelled. Still some gusty/variable winds to contend with, but fortunately the stronger winds are now over,” tweeted the NWS.

Earlier, wind gusts of over 110 miles per hour was registered in the region and was cited as a major factor contributing to the rapid spread of the wildfire.

A house burnt down in 20 minutes

Friday 31 December 2021 06:22 , Namita Singh

Gripping the intensity with which the fire is spreading and destroying everything on its way, a picture by 9 News photojournalist Chris Hansen showed a house previously untouched by the wildfire, up in flames in 20 minutes.

“Twenty minutes ago, this house along Harper Lake in Louisville was untouched by fire. Now it’s gone. Two people stand outside,” tweeted 9 News journalist Kyle Clark.

FEMA to pay 75 per cent of the firefighting cost

Friday 31 December 2021 06:37 , Namita Singh

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will pay 75 per cent of the state’s firefighting costs as it authorised funding to help fight the Marshall Fire.

The grant money provided through President’s Disaster Relief fund can be used for setting up field camps, equipment use, repair and replacement work, tools, materials and supplies.

The grants are available “to assist in fighting fires that threaten to cause a major disaster,” according to FEMA.

A Louisville firefighter walks through the smoke and haze after a fast moving wildfire swept through the area in the Centennial Heights neighborhood of Louisville, Colorado on 30 December 2021 (Getty Images)
A Louisville firefighter walks through the smoke and haze after a fast moving wildfire swept through the area in the Centennial Heights neighborhood of Louisville, Colorado on 30 December 2021 (Getty Images)

Videos captures families Videos fleeing Chuck E Cheese and Costco

Friday 31 December 2021 06:48 , Namita Singh

Customers rushed to evacuate a Costco retail store and a Chuck E Cheese restaurant in Superior, Colorado, on Thursday after a wildfire started spreading rapidly across the area due to gusty winds.

A video taken from inside the Chuck E Cheese outlet shared by Twitter user Jason Fletcher showed large patches of flames just a few metres away from the building. Parents were seen screaming inside the outlet as they tried to gather their children to leave the outlet.

Multiple people had to struggle to open the outlet’s main entrance because of strong winds.

Read the report from my colleague Alisha Rahaman Sarkar:

Videos show families fleeing Chuck E Cheese and Costco as wildfires consume Colorado

Footage captures spread of wildfire

Friday 31 December 2021 07:18 , Joe Middleton

An airline passenger has captured footage of the spread of the wildfire in Boulder, Colorado.

The bird’s eye view shows multiple blazes as thousands of people have been told to evacuate the area and Governor Jared Polis has declared a state of emergency.

‘Record dryness’ one of the factors that led to wildfire

Friday 31 December 2021 07:40 , Joe Middleton

Denver’s National Weather Service has said that ‘record dryness’ is one of the causes of the causes of the wildfire.

They tweeted: “One of the many factors that lead to the devastating wildfire today is the recent record dryness.

“For all periods from Jul 1st to Dec 29th (essentially the second half of the year), Denver has been the driest on record by over an inch. Snowfall is at record low levels, too.”

Friday 31 December 2021 07:58 , Joe Middleton

Residents urged not to return to homes

Friday 31 December 2021 08:27 , Joe Middleton

The Boulder Office of Emergency Management has urged residents not to return to their homes.

They tweeted: “Residents who evacuated/have property in evacuation zones, please do NOT return to the area. We know that you are concerned about your home/belongings.

“First responders are working non-stop to keep everyone safe, even as they don’t know the status of their own homes in the area.”

Fast-moving wildfires destroy homes and force thousands to evacuate

Friday 31 December 2021 08:58 , Joe Middleton

Thousands of people have been forced to evacuate from their homes in Colorado as wildfires spread through the state.

Many of the fast-moving fires - spread by gusty winds - are burning in Boulder County, north of Denver, but are likely to consume further areas.

Dramatic footage shows how buildings and homes have been destroyed by the blaze, as firefighters battle to contain the flames.

A state of emergency has been declared by Colorado Governor Jared Polis, with as many as 30,000 people in the towns of Louisville and Superior forced to leave their homes.

Fast-moving wildfires in Colorado destroy homes and force thousands to evacuate

Families flee restaurant as state consumed by smoke

Friday 31 December 2021 09:33 , Joe Middleton

Families rushed to evacuate a Chuck E Cheese restaurant in the town of Superior, Colorado on Thursday as wildfires consumed the state.

Dramatic footage shows groups of parents and their children taking cover from the smoke that engulfs the building, before running through the car park to their vehicles.

The sky appears to glow orange as wildfires rage around them.

Thousands of people in Colorado have been evacuated and hundreds of homes have been destroyed by the blazes spread by gusty winds.

Families flee restaurant as Colorado consumed by wildfires

Footage of Superior and Louiseville evacuations

Friday 31 December 2021 10:01 , Joe Middleton

Pictures of the wildfires raging in Colorado

Friday 31 December 2021 10:21 , Joe Middleton

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)
 (AP)
(AP)
 (AP)
(AP)
 (EPA)
(EPA)

Aerial footage shows raging wildfires as 30,000 people evacuated

Friday 31 December 2021 10:53 , Joe Middleton

Aerial footage taken from a plane flying above Colorado shows the spread of the wildfires that have caused more than 30,000 people to evacuate from the area.

The first fire erupted just before 10:30 a.m. and was “attacked pretty quickly and laid down later in the day and is currently being monitored” with no structures lost, Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said.

A second wildfire, reported just after 11 a.m., “ballooned and spread rapidly east,” Pelle said. The blaze spans 2.5 square miles (6.5 square kilometres) and has engulfed parts of the area in smoky, orangish skies and sent residents scrambling to get to safety.

The activity of the fires, which are burning unusually late into the winter season, will depend on how the winds behave overnight and could determine when crews are able to go in and begin assessing the damage and searching for any victims.

“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,” he added.

Evacuations have been ordered for the city of Louisville, home to about 21,000 people, and Superior, which has another 13,000 residents.

Fires burning in Superior are seen from a plane flying from Denver, Colorado (Joe Harrison via REUTERS)
Fires burning in Superior are seen from a plane flying from Denver, Colorado (Joe Harrison via REUTERS)

Radar loops shows smoke from wildfires

Friday 31 December 2021 11:29 , Joe Middleton

The National Weather Service Denver has posted a radar loop on its Twitter account showing the spread of the smoke from the wildfires.

They tweeted: “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.”

What caused the wildfire in Colorado?

Friday 31 December 2021 11:45 , Joe Middleton

Extreme dryness and lack of precipitation have been pegged as the reasons behind the spread of a devastating wildfire that tore through multiple towns in Boulder, Colorado, forcing thousands of people, including hospital patients, to evacuate on Thursday.

Small fires cropped up on the grass in a median or in a dumpster in the middle of a parking lot, which then spread at a rapid speed due to gusting winds. The wind, as powerful as 110mph, knocked over power lines, pushing the fire across neighbourhoods, burning down more than 1,600 acres.

More than 30,000 people in Superior and Louisville towns in Colorado were ordered to evacuate their homes. Some sections of the road on the US-36 highway were closed.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar has the details.

What caused the wildfire in Colorado?

Colorado set for snowfall after wildfires

Friday 31 December 2021 12:16 , Joe Middleton

Denver’s National Weather Service has said the area can expect snowfall on Friday and Saturday.

Evacuated residents watch via doorbell cameras as their homes burn

Friday 31 December 2021 12:32 , Joe Middleton

More than 30,000 residents have fled their homes in the vicinity of Boulder, Colorado, as 110mph winds sparked multiple wildfires.

Many of those evacuees have no idea whether or not they will have anything to return to after the fires pass.

Horrifying aerial footage shows fires glowing at night around the town of Superior and an unknown number of structures, including houses, have been destroyed.

Oliver O’Connell has the details.

Evacuated Colorado residents watch on doorbell cameras as their homes burn

Satellite and radar images show spread of the fires

Friday 31 December 2021 12:55 , Joe Middleton

Satellite and radar images released by Denver’s National Weather Service show the spread of the wildfires.

In a tweet posted on Thursday, the organisation said: “Here is a 4-panel of satellite and radar data of the fire. depicting the fire and the smoke plume that impacted Superior and Louisville this afternoon.”

Friday 31 December 2021 13:20 , Joe Middleton

Friday 31 December 2021 14:04 , Oliver O'Connell

Aerial view of fire captured from Seattle-bound flight

Friday 31 December 2021 14:13 , Oliver O'Connell

A passenger on a flight to Seattle captured an aerial image of the fires around Superior and Louisville at 5pm local time on 30 December.

House engulfed in less than 20 minutes

Friday 31 December 2021 14:55 , Oliver O'Connell

More than 500 homes confirmed destroyed so far

Friday 31 December 2021 15:20 , Oliver O'Connell

More than 500 homes destroyed more have already been confirmed as destroyed by the fire according to Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle.

He said an entire subdivision of 370 homes went up in flames west of Superior, and that 210 dwellings were lost in the Old Town area of Superior, along with additional residences in the area. Property losses also included a shopping center and a hotel.

Governor Jared Polis said flames were consuming football fields of landscape in a matter of seconds, calling the conflagration “a force of nature.”

Reuters

Fire disrupts utilities

Friday 31 December 2021 15:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Local utility provider Xcel Energy struggled to maintain service to its electric and natural gas customers in several mountain counties and in the San Luis Valley, with periodic outages hitting the area through Thursday night into Friday because of the fire.

“The Boulder County wildfires have impacted Xcel Energy’s natural gas infrastructure that supports the system in Summit County and Grand County,” the company said in a news release late on Thursday.

“To decrease the amount of natural gas being used by furnaces in the area and keep the system up and running, the company is putting in place periodic electric outages to customers in Summit, Grand, Lake, Eagle, Saguache, Rio Grande and Alamosa counties for the next six to eight hours.”

Inside a devastated neighbourhood

Friday 31 December 2021 15:40 , Oliver O'Connell

Fox 31 reporter Jim Hooley has posted footage of the ruins of a Louisville neighbourhood devastated by the Marshall fire.

‘You couldn’t see. You couldn’t breathe'

Friday 31 December 2021 15:59 , Graig Graziosi

The Colorado Sun spoke with Christina Eisert, a mother of two, who like many had a harrowing experience fleeing her home.

She quickly drove back home and lured her two shepherd-husky mixes out of the house “in the absolute nick of time,” Eisert told The Colorado Sun on Thursday night while choking up. “You couldn’t see. You couldn’t breathe.”

She heard a high-pitched squealing sound coming from her front windows, likely moments before they shattered from the heat. Eisert ran to the car without any belongings.

Hundreds of cars blocked the roads outside her home as a nearby Costco was being evacuated and neighbors fled the flames, she said.

“I felt like the fire was bearing down on us so I pulled the car off the road into the park,” Eisert said. The smoke became so thick she couldn’t see, so with her hand on the horn, she drove through the park to evade the stalled cars, she said.

“It was like fight or flight,” Eisert said. “I just felt every molecule in my body wanting to get my children out of this fire.”

Speed of fire captured in jaw-dropping time lapse footage

Friday 31 December 2021 16:12 , Oliver O'Connell

Fire declared most destructive in history

Friday 31 December 2021 16:30 , Graig Graziosi

Sheila Flynn reports for The Independent from Colorado.

Aerial videos show Colorado damage as fire declared most destructive in state history

Shocking images from early Friday morning of devastation at Louisville

Friday 31 December 2021 17:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Boulder OEM briefing underway

Friday 31 December 2021 17:02 , Oliver O'Connell

The Boulder Office of Emergency Management briefing is underway reviewing the devastation of Thursday’s fire.

Friday 31 December 2021 17:03 , Oliver O'Connell

Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle says he is expecting 3-6 inches of snow in fire area.

Describing the damage he says: “We won’t have final numbers until late tonight or tomorrow. Expecting this to be more than 500 homes.”

There are 2,000 homes in the burnt area but 2,000 have not been lost, the sheriff stresses. Residents are asked not to return yet.

Friday 31 December 2021 17:06 , Oliver O'Connell

No fatalities have been recorded to date.

Governor Polis

Friday 31 December 2021 17:09 , Oliver O'Connell

Governor Polis flew over the area earlier today before snow began to fall to survey the damage: “The last 24 hours have been devastating.”

He said he spoke to President Biden shortly before the press briefing and the president approved expedited disaster declaration.

Friday 31 December 2021 17:12 , Oliver O'Connell

Polis notes that there were still active flames when he flew over.

The fire burnt in a mosaic pattern so it would burn entire neighborhoods but leave others untouched.

“This was a disaster in fast motion,” the governor said, with families having minutes to leave their homes.

“Each house is not just a house but a home. A sanctuary of comfort… a reservoir of memories.”

Friday 31 December 2021 17:16 , Oliver O'Connell

Senator Michael Bennet says that sadly the state is used to disasters.

“In Colorado, we’re used to this, unfortunately. We’ve had our share of fires and floods and natural disaster. ... In every single case, we have built back stronger than we were before.”

More than 5 inches of snow expected in fire area

Friday 31 December 2021 17:20 , Graig Graziosi

Any remaining fires will be extinguished later today as a cold front moves in and blankets the impacted area with a minimum of five inches of snow, with totals up to 12 inches possible.

Origin of fire not confirmed

Friday 31 December 2021 17:21 , Oliver O'Connell

The origin of the fire has not yet been confirmed, but it is still suspected that downed power lines caused the blaze.

500 homes confirmed destroyed, could be as high as 1,000

Friday 31 December 2021 17:26 , Oliver O'Connell

Damage assessment is still ongoing, but Sheriff Pelle says he would not be surprised if the number of homes lost reaches 1,000.

There is no exact estimate right now.

Friday 31 December 2021 17:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Crews are working as hard as they can to restore power in the area.

When asked about reports of dry fire hydrants in Louisville, Sheriff Pelle says there were some water pressure issues in the community but calls it “not unexpected” during an incident like this as destroyed homes leak water affecting the whole system.

Friday 31 December 2021 17:34 , Oliver O'Connell

It will be at least a day before a list of homes lost is posted as the damage assessment is done “address by address”.

While a map of the burn area is online at the Boulder Office of Emergency Management, authorities stress that not all the homes within that area have burned due to the patten of the fire.

Extent of fire at maximum

Friday 31 December 2021 17:35 , Oliver O'Connell

Sheriff Pelle says he does not expect the burn area to grow beyond the 6,000 acres already confirmed.

‘Fast motion’ blazes confound experts, ‘miracle’ no one dead

Friday 31 December 2021 17:47 , Oliver O'Connell

Colorado Governor Jared Polis said he was hoping for a “New Year’s miracle” that there would no fatalities from the devastating fires that have wiped out nearly 1,000 homes in the state.

The fast-moving fire fanned by powerful winds ripped through towns between Boulder and Denver, prompting the evacuation of about 30,000 residents on Thursday.

Bevan Hurley reports.

Colorado ‘holding out for miracle’ as ‘fast motion’ blazes confound experts

Residents asked not to attempt to return yet

Friday 31 December 2021 18:07 , Oliver O'Connell

Residents have been asked to not attempt to return to their properties. There are still pockets of fire and hot zones in the impacted areas.

Devastation is total in some neighbourhoods

Friday 31 December 2021 18:27 , Oliver O'Connell

Biden speaks with Governor Polis

Friday 31 December 2021 18:50 , Oliver O'Connell

The White House has provided a readout of President Joe Biden’s call with Colorado Governor Jared Polis.The President spoke this morning with Governor Jared Polis to discuss the no-notice wildfires that have caused significant property damage and loss in Colorado. Governor Polis described the impacts and the need for additional Federal support, and the President assured him that every effort will be made to provide immediate help to people in the impacted communities. FEMA Administrator Criswell and her team are already working with their counterparts in Colorado to surge assistance. Fortunately, snowfall will help bring an end to the fires, and recovery efforts can get underway. The President is grateful to all of the first responders who have come to the aid of Colorado communities and families impacted by the fires.

Evacuated residents saw flames advance on homes via doorbell cameras after fleeing

Friday 31 December 2021 19:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Evacuated Colorado residents watch on doorbell cameras as their homes burn

Eco-friendly hotel destroyed in blaze

Friday 31 December 2021 19:45 , Oliver O'Connell

One of the structures destroyed by the wildfire as it swept through Superior was the Element Hotel, an eco-friendly property that was part of the Westin brand owned by Marriott.

Photographs show flames overwhelming the building on Thursday.

Structures burn, including an Element Hotel, as a wind-driven wildfire forced evacuation of the Superior suburb of Boulder. (via REUTERS)
Structures burn, including an Element Hotel, as a wind-driven wildfire forced evacuation of the Superior suburb of Boulder. (via REUTERS)

Striking mages capture destruction of thousands of homes in Colorado

Friday 31 December 2021 20:07 , Graig Graziosi

Images have captured just a glimpse of the destruction caused by a wildfire in Colorado, which has razed up to 1,000 homes.

State officials said Friday that the fire is likely the most destructive the state has ever experienced.

See the images in Oliver O’Connell’s story below...

Shocking images of the Colorado wildfires with as many as 1,000 homes destroyed

Shocking drone footage shows fire devastation in Louisville, Colorado

Friday 31 December 2021 20:20 , Graig Graziosi

Drone footage captured by Weather Nation correspondant Brandon Clement captures the devastation caused by the ongoing wildfire in Colorado, which officials believe may be the most destructive in the state’s history.

The footage shows the ashy remains of hundreds of homes left in the blaze’s wake.

Governor Polis says no deaths have been confirmed in Colorado wildfires, calls it a “New Year's miracle”

Friday 31 December 2021 20:29 , Graig Graziosi

Governor Jared Polis of Colorado said that there have been no confirmed deaths in the wildfires that have destroyed up to 1,000 homes.

He said the fact that there have thus far been no reported deaths a “New Year’s miracle.”

“We might have our very own New Year’s miracle on our hands if it holds up that there was no loss of life,” he said.

The fire has caused approximately 35,000 people to flee their homes and neighborhoods.

Governor Jared Polis directs donors to give to wildfire fund

Friday 31 December 2021 20:45 , Graig Graziosi

Governor Jared Polis has called for individuals interested in donating funds to help the victims of a wildfire in Colorado that has destroyed up to 1,000 homes.

Mr Polis recommends donors give money to the Boulder County Wildfire Fund “for the most immediate impact.”

Video shows burned out remains of Colorado homes

Friday 31 December 2021 21:00 , Graig Graziosi

A Denver Post journalist shared a video of a Colorado neighborhood leveled by wildfire.

Birds chirp in charred trees as the camera pans, showing homes burned to the foundation, with only outlines of the homes’ former walls remaining.

Tufts of smoke can still be seen wafting through the air.

Terrifying footage from inside Colorado Chuck E Cheese as 110 mph winds drive wildfire into neighborhood

Friday 31 December 2021 21:20 , Graig Graziosi

Video shot from inside a Chuck E Cheese as reportedly 110mph (177kph) winds drove the Colorado wildfire into a neighborhood show the panic felt by residents as they prepare to flee the restaurant.

Parents can be seen scrambling to collect their children as the high-speed winds bend trees outside.

For comparison, a hurricane is considered a category three when winds reach 111mph (178kph).

Photo shows Colorado medical workers watching wildfire burn outside hospital

Friday 31 December 2021 21:41 , Graig Graziosi

A photo captured the moment a group of Colorado medical workers watched as the flames from a wildfire that destroyed up to 1,000 homes leapt high into the sky.

No deaths have been attributed to the wildfire at this time, according to Governor Jared Polis.

Shoppers evacuate Colorado Costco into white out conditions caused by ash from wildfire

Friday 31 December 2021 22:00 , Graig Graziosi

A video shows shoppers at a Colorado Costco evacuating into high winds and blinding ash as a wildfire raged nearby.

As the shoppers exit the store, the combination of ash and high winds reduce visibility to only a few feet ahead of them, with even the bright lights of ambulances and police vehicles almost completely obscured.

Colorado fires intense enough to reduce homes to their foundations

Friday 31 December 2021 23:00 , Graig Graziosi

Reports and images out of Colorado show that homes caught in the blaze were burned so completely that only concrete basement walls and foundations remained.

The fire has reportedly destroyed up to 1,000 homes, though thankfully no deaths have been reported at this time.

Colorado goes from fire to snow in 24 hours

00:40 , Graig Graziosi

After a wildfire destroyed portions of Colorado overnight Thursday and into Friday morning, residents were told to brace for heavy snows.

Snow began to fall on Friday evening, prompting some residents to comment on the wild swing in weather conditions in the state.

Up to 1,000 homes were destroyed in the blaze.

ICYMI: Joe Biden speaks with Governor Jared Polis

01:30 , Graig Graziosi

The White House has provided a readout of President Joe Biden’s call with Colorado Governor Jared Polis from earlier this afternoon.

The President spoke this morning with Governor Jared Polis to discuss the no-notice wildfires that have caused significant property damage and loss in Colorado. Governor Polis described the impacts and the need for additional Federal support, and the President assured him that every effort will be made to provide immediate help to people in the impacted communities. FEMA Administrator Criswell and her team are already working with their counterparts in Colorado to surge assistance. Fortunately, snowfall will help bring an end to the fires, and recovery efforts can get underway. The President is grateful to all of the first responders who have come to the aid of Colorado communities and families impacted by the fires.

ICYMI: Airline passengers capture aerial view of Colorado wildfire

02:30 , Graig Graziosi

In stunning footage captured by airline passengers, the Colorado wildfire can be seen burning neighborhoods down below.

The blaze razed up to 1,000 homes and forced 35,000 people to flee from their neighborhoods.

So far no fatalities have been reported.

ICYMI: Harrowing account of a mother evacuating herself and her children as Colorado wildfire neared

03:00 , Graig Graziosi

The Colorado Sun spoke with Christina Eisert, a mother of two, who like many had a harrowing experience fleeing her home.

She quickly drove back home and lured her two shepherd-husky mixes out of the house “in the absolute nick of time,” Eisert told The Colorado Sun on Thursday night while choking up. “You couldn’t see. You couldn’t breathe.”

She heard a high-pitched squealing sound coming from her front windows, likely moments before they shattered from the heat. Eisert ran to the car without any belongings.

Hundreds of cars blocked the roads outside her home as a nearby Costco was being evacuated and neighbors fled the flames, she said.

“I felt like the fire was bearing down on us so I pulled the car off the road into the park,” Eisert said. The smoke became so thick she couldn’t see, so with her hand on the horn, she drove through the park to evade the stalled cars, she said.

“It was like fight or flight,” Eisert said. “I just felt every molecule in my body wanting to get my children out of this fire.”

Colorado shelters handing out space heaters to prepare for snow storm less than a day after a wildfire destroyed up to 1,000 homes

03:45 , Graig Graziosi

Shelters in Colorado have reportedly begun handing out space heaters to help individuals keep warm as between 5 and 12 inches of snow are reported to fall on New Year’s Eve.

The snow storm comes less than a day after a wildfire destroyed up to 1,000 homes in the region, leaving thousands potentially homeless.

ICYMI: Colorado wildfire declared most destructive in state’s history

04:30 , Graig Graziosi

The Colorado wildfire was declared the most destructive in the state’s history, forcing approximately 35,000 people to flee their neighborhoods and destroying up to 1,000 homes.

Governor Jared Polis said it was a “New Year’s miracle” that as of Friday no one has been reported dead resulting from the blaze.

The Independent’s Sheila Flynn has more on the story below...

Aerial videos show Colorado damage as fire declared most destructive in state history

Amazon delivery driver rescued a baby and her parents from Colorado wildfire

04:59 , Graig Graziosi

A Colorado family whose car battery had died found themselves stuck at their home without transportation when the Colorado wildfire neared their neighborhoods.

According to CBS42, prior to the fire Colorado resident Mary Stanley had ordered a bike pump off of Amazon to refill her bike’s tires so she could use it to travel until her car was fixed.

Just as the winds began to increase in speed and spread ash around her neighborhood, an Amazon delivery driver by the name of Luanne arrived to deliver the woman’s bike pump. Noticing her situation, Luanne offered to evacuate the Stanleys and their baby using her delivery van.

She drove the family to a community centre a safe distance away from the encroaching fires.

“We could be dead if it wasn’t for Luanne,” Ms Stanley told CBS42. “She was our saving grace. A little angel right at the moment that we needed her.”

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