Home LATEST NEWS In Colorado, fires declared “in the blink of an eye” suffocated by...

In Colorado, fires declared “in the blink of an eye” suffocated by snow

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At least 500 homes have gone up in smoke and tens of thousands have had to flee, but no deaths have so far been reported. a miracle, according to Governor Jared Polis.

The damage is no less striking: in aerial images, entire streets are little more than piles of smoking ash. The fire, unlike previous fires, affected suburbs and not just rural areas.

Families had only a few minutes to put everything they could, their animals, their children, in the car and leaveJared Polis said at a press conference on Friday.

This happened in the blink of an eye, he said.

Houses destroyed by fire

The inhabitants could only see the damage caused by the fire.

Photo: AP / David Zalubowski

Impressive flames tore the sky, fanned by strong winds, which blew up to 160 km / h Thursday. The fire was reportedly caused by power lines falling on arid soil.

The final number of houses destroyed is not yet known. Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle estimated it to be over 500 on Friday, saying he would not not surprised if it was over 1000.

The fire is consumed mosaic, sparing certain neighborhoods to devastate neighboring houses, he explained.

When you see the devastation, it’s amazing that you don’t have a list of 100 missing people, but you don’t have it, said the sheriff.

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Neighborhoods reduced to ashes

In an appeal with Governor Polis, President Joe Biden promised that everything would be done to provide immediate assistance to affected people and populations.

On Friday, a layer of snow settled on the ashes of these devastating fires, in stark contrast to the furnace of the day before.

The US Meteorological Service (NWS) has placed part of this mountainous western state on winter storm alert, forecasting heavy rainfall in the coming days.

This snow goes really help us, welcomed Joe Pelle, saying he no longer expected the fire to develop.

A person who extinguishes the fire.

Residents were ordered to boil tap water or use bottles.

Photo: AP / Jack Dempsey

Part of the evacuation orders were lifted overnight by local authorities.

But places like Superior, with 13,000 inhabitants, are still off limits.

Patrick Kilbride, 72, a town resident, was at work when he was ordered to evacuate, but was only able to save his car and clothes. Only ashes remain of the house he lived in for three decades, he told the Denver Post.

People living in Superior, along with the nearly 20,000 residents of Louisville, have been ordered to boil tap water or use bottles, with towns using untreated water to fight fires. .

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Global warming involved?

Like much of the American West, Colorado, an already arid state, has struggled with exceptional drought for several years.

With global warming, the intensity and frequency of drought and heatwave episodes are likely to increase further, continuing to create ideal conditions for forest or bush fires. In recent years, the American West has experienced unprecedented fires, especially in California and Oregon.

For Daniel Swain, a meteorologist at UCLA, he is hard to believe that these fires occur in December, a period usually not conducive to this type of event in the region.

People with sad looks.

More than 500 houses were destroyed.

Photo: AP / Jack Dempsey

But take a record-breaking heat and drought fall, only two inches of snow so far this season, and add a storm with extreme downward gusts, and the result is extremely dangerous, very fast moving fires., the researcher tweeted.

Beyond the fires, the United States has experienced other extreme events recently, with Storm Ida passing through New York and New Jersey in September and deadly tornadoes in Kentucky in December. For the latter, the link with global warming is still being studied.

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