On Thursday evening, officials said that wind-fueled wildfires outside Denver burned several hundred homes, vehicles, one shopping center, and a hotel. Additionally, the wildfire forced residents to evacuate from two cities. Users share harrowing videos on social media platforms containing people fleeing the flames. The city of Louisville, having a population of twenty-one thousand, evacuated after officials in Superior had thirteen thousand residents announced to evacuate the city.
Colorado wildfires have forced residents of two cities to evacuate to scramble for cover. Governor Jared Polis to declare a state of emergency to access the disaster emergency funds. Scientists say that climate change is making wildfires more destructive. pic.twitter.com/aQJgcQywcs
— Live News Now (@LiveNewsNow6) December 31, 2021
According to the Colorado Sun, health officials treated almost six people. In addition, a CBS 4 Denver reporter tweeted that a fire department source believes over three hundred homes burned with the disaster. The tweet states that it is the Waldo Canyon fire on asteroids. Superior is around twenty miles northwest of Denver and Louisville is only four miles northeast of Superior.
Emergency vehicles racing south here at Dillon Rd. & 96th in Louisville. A firefighting source tells me over 300 homes are likely lost, mostly in Superior in #MarshallFire “This is Waldo Canyon fire on steroids.” @CBSDenver pic.twitter.com/xCfuo7kJaW
— Alan Gionet (@AlanGTV) December 30, 2021
Wildfires Forced to Shut Down nearby Portion of the U.S. Highway
Amid the fatal wildfire, highway authorities shut down some part of the United States highway 36, nearby the area. According to the National Weather Service, the blaze northwest of Superior was one of many wildfires that triggered in the area Thursday, at least some ignited by downed powerlines, as winds flew with the speed of around 105 mph. Moreover, the National Weather Service (NWS) Boulder tweeted that it is a life-threatening situation for you if you are in Louisville. It urged residents to escape as quickly as possible.
— NWS Boulder (@NWSBoulder) December 30, 2021
State of Emergency in Colorado
Democratic Governor of Colorado, Jared Polis, declared a state of emergency amid the horrifying situation in two cities. Furthermore, it allowed the state to access disaster emergency funds from the federal government to support the emergency response efforts in Boulder. The Federal Emergency Management Agency also permitted the use of federal funds to help with firefighting costs. Moreover, the FMA said they approved federal funds to help with firefighting costs.
The agency approved the request of the state for a federal Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) after determining the fire threatening such destruction that it would amount to a major disaster. In addition, the approval makes FEMA funding available to pay seventy-five percent of the eligible firefighting costs of the state. However, the grant doesn’t support individual businesses or homeowners and doesn’t cover other infrastructure damage amid the fire.
Officials recommended people that if they are preparing to evacuate, get essential items ready, including
- Two or three sets of clothes
- Important documents
- Necessary pet supplies
- A portable charger
- A phone charger