1 of 3Foto: Brittany Peterson / AP
Three people are feared dead after a number of forest fires ravaged Colorado.
On Friday, residents of Boulder County in the state of Colorado in the United States will return to their neighborhoods to see the devastation. In some of the streets there are only ruins left.
People should fetch clothes and medicines or turn off the water to prevent the pipes from freezing, writes AP. They brought backpacks, suitcases and trolleys. Someone wanted to see if they had a home to return to.
Cathy Glaab visited her neighborhood with her daughter to see the damage. The house was completely damaged, and was one of seven houses in a row that had been burned to the ground. Glaab has lived in the house in the town of Superior with her husband since 1998.
– The mailbox is the only thing left, Glaab says to AP, while she tries to smile through her tears.
– So many memories, she adds.
Rick Dixon feared there would be nothing left of the neighborhood when he saw firefighters on the news trying to put out his home. On Friday, Dixon, his wife and their 21-year-old son returned to the house to see if the flames had been extinguished.
The house was still standing, but it had a big hole in the roof. Only ruins remained where several neighboring houses once stood in a row right next to their own home.
– We thought we had lost everything, he told AP while holding his mother-in-law’s porcelain in a box.
In the city of Louisville, neighbors Renato D’Amario and Lori Peer held each other after seeing their homes that have been completely damaged by the fire.
Samantha Patterson and her mother know several close friends who have lost their entire neighborhood, but fortunately their house is not damaged. The vast majority they know have been evacuated.
“Everything is gone,” Patterson said The Independent.
Record little snow
It took only a few hours before several neighborhoods were extinguished by the flames. The strong wind moved at up to 177 kilometers per hour. More than 30,000 people had to evacuate from their homes, and around 24,2811 square kilometers have burned down.
“Many had only a few minutes to evacuate,” said Gov. Governor Jared Polis during a news conference Friday.
At least seven people have been reported injured in the fires, writes Sky News. Nearly 1,000 houses, a hotel and a shopping center have been extinguished by the flames. On Saturday, Boulder County authorities announced that three people were missing and feared dead, including a 91-year-old woman, according to the authorities.
In recent years, forest fires in the western United States have worsened – they are larger, spread faster and when mountain areas that were previously too cool and wet to catch fire, write The New York Times.
The climate in the Denver area over the past six months is the driest ever recorded in comparable periods – by a good margin, according to National Weather Service i Boulder. There has also been record little snow so far this season.
According to meteorologists, around ten degrees below zero are reported in Boulder County in the first days of 2022. On Saturday, it began to snow in the area, so the authorities believed that the fire would not pose a great danger and that some could return to their homes.
Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle urges everyone to wait to return to their homes for security reasons.
– I know that the inhabitants want to go home as soon as possible to see the damage. There are several neighborhoods that are still blocked off. These are not safe to return to. We still have active fires in several places, says Pelle to The Guardian.
On Saturday morning, President Joe Biden approved a declaration of disaster for Colorado, writes The Guardian. Thus, the residents affected by the fires will receive state support and a temporary residence. According to Forbes, it is the most devastating fire in the state’s history.
“I am grateful to all the workers in the emergency services who have helped the people of Colorado,” Biden said on Friday.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, writes AP. According to the authorities, there were no downed power lines near where the fire broke out.