The fire that destroyed the entire neighborhood of Colorado in the western United States “in the blink of an eye” is being extinguished this Friday (31) with the last fire extinguishing snow.
At least 500 homes were smoked and tens of thousands of people were evacuated, but no deaths have been reported so far, “a miracle,” Governor Jared told police.
The devastation is huge: in aerial images you can see entire streets being reduced to ashes and smoke. Like other fires, these were not limited to the countryside but also to the suburbs.
“Animals, children – families only had a few minutes to get in a car and escape,” police told a news conference Friday. The governor said it all happened “in the blink of an eye”.
Last night, flames caused the sky to turn orange with winds blowing at 160km / h. The fire appears to have been caused by poles falling on dry land.
The number of dilapidated houses is not yet known. Boulder County Sheriff Joe Belle estimated it would be more than 500 today, and he said “it would not be surprising if there were more than 1,000.”
The fire spread like “mosaic” so some neighborhoods were saved and houses on the other side were burned, he explained.
“When you look at the disaster, it’s surprising that we do not have a list of the 100 missing, but we do not,” the sheriff declared.
In a phone call to police, Governor Joe Biden promised to “do what we can to provide immediate relief to the affected people and local people,” according to the White House.
This Friday was covered in gray snow.
The U.S. Meteorological Agency (NWS) has issued a winter storm warning for parts of the mountainous state and forecast heavy snowfall in the coming days.
Belle said the snow would “help us” and now doubts whether the fire will spread again.
Some eviction orders were suspended overnight by local authorities, but access to places such as Superior, home to 13,000 people, has been blocked.
While Patrick Gilbright, 72, was working, he was ordered fired. He was only able to save his car and the clothes he was wearing. The rest, that is, the house where he lived for three decades, were reduced to “ashes,” he told the Denver Post.
– Historical Drought –
Like the western United States, Colorado is an arid state that has experienced years of exceptional drought.
With global warming, the intensity and frequency of episodes of drought and heat waves will further increase, creating favorable conditions for wildfires.
In recent years, the western United States, especially California and Oregon, have been hit by unprecedented fires.
For Daniel Swain, a meteorologist at UCLA University, it’s hard to believe that fires will occur in December.
“However, take autumn [no hemisfério norte] Adds heat and drought, up to an inch of snowfall, and storms with intense winds. […] The result would be a very dangerous fire that moves very fast, ”the researcher tweeted.
In addition to the fires, Hurricane Ida passed over New York and New Jersey in September, and the United States has recently experienced other extreme events, such as the deadly hurricane of December in Kentucky. So far, it is not known whether the latter is linked to global warming.
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