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Hundreds of homes have been burned down in Colorado, one of the states of the American West, which is battered by strong winds and is suffering from a historic drought, according to authorities.
“Around 370 homes in the Sagamore area have been destroyed,” Boulder County Sheriff Joe Bailey told a news conference. “It is possible that we lost 210 homes in the Old Town Superior area,” he added.
The city of Boulder, which has more than 100,000 residents, is located about fifty kilometers from Denver, the capital of Colorado.
This state is witnessing a historical drought, which greatly facilitated the spread of fire. In the Boulder area, fires destroyed hotels, shopping centers and more than 650 hectares of green space.
Wind gusts of more than 160 kilometers per hour were recorded in some places, complicating the efforts of the firefighters.
“I would like to stress the scale and intensity of this fire and its outbreak in such a densely populated area,” Joe Bailey said. He added, “It would not be surprising if there were injuries or deaths recorded.”
And the newspaper “Colorado Sun” reported that a large number of people underwent treatment for burns, including at least six who were hospitalized.
Scenes broadcast by CBS showed a burning apartment building that firefighters were trying to put out.
Thousands of residents were ordered to evacuate their homes, especially in Louisville, which has a population of 20,000.
“Leave Louisville or your lives will be in danger,” the weather service said, addressing residents.
Jared Polis, governor of the mountainous state where the Rocky Mountains meet the Great Plains, tweeted, “High winds are spreading fire fast and all planes are on the ground.”
He declared a state of emergency, noting that the danger of this fire is not limited to rural areas, unlike previous fires. “The affected area is a normal suburb like the one you live in and the one we live in,” he added.
Only ashes remain
Another city that was ordered to be evacuated completely is Superior, which has a population of 13,000 and was covered Thursday by a cloud of black smoke, as shown in photos posted on social media.
The local newspaper, The Denver Post, reported that Patrick Kilbride, 72, was working in a hardware store when he received an order to evacuate. The man rushed to his home in Superior to get his belongings but was unable to salvage anything other than his car and the clothes he was wearing. His dog and cat died in the flames.
Of the house he lived in for three decades, he said, it “has turned into ashes.” “It’s a strange feeling to go from a location where you have all the amenities you can get to one where you don’t have anything at all,” he told The Denver Post.
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