Entire Colorado Town Forced to Evacuate From Path of Fast-Moving Wildfires

by Matthew Memrick

Fast-moving wildfires forced a Colorado town of about 13,000 residents to evacuate on Thursday. Reuters reported on the evacuations.

The town and the National Weather Service in Boulder warned Superior residents about the impending fires. Futhermore, officials urged residents in the area of Louisville to evacuate.

Colorado governor Jared Polis declared a state of emergency in response to the wildfires.

Want to see how bad it is? Check out this photographer’s scary tweet. Specifically, the fire looks out of control. But the video picked up the loud wind whipping.  

Windy Day Not Helping Wildfire Officials

There were high winds that stirred up two large grass fires on Thursday. One gust clocked in at 110 mph. But the fires produced thick smoke, and Denver residents about 20 miles away to the south could see it.

Then, later in the afternoon, ABC 7 in Denver reported three identifiable wildfires.

Officials named two fires. The Middle Fork Fire was north of Boulder. The Marshall Fire, however, was on the south side of town. The Boulder newspaper said the Marshall Fire was over 1,200 acres. But officials said several other fires were in progress.

Also, officials said there was another fire near Colorado University-Boulder and Highway 36. 

One fire department, West Metro, reported that they sent ten firefighters to help Superior residents. Futhermore, the fire department sent a drone and drone pilot to help.

Consequently, radio chatter mentioned multiple structures on fire in the burn area. But there was no official statement. Several apartment complexes, two hotels, and a mall faced evacuation orders.

Fast-Moving Wildfires Spurring Quick Action

The National Weather Service said fast-moving wildfires created a “life-threatening situation” in the Superior and Louisville areas.

The Associated Press reported that Colorado’s Front Range, where most of the state’s population lives, had an extremely dry and mild fall. This winter, however, that trend has continued with the mainly dry conditions.

By 2 p.m., the central area thoroughfare, Highway 36, closed in both directions. But there was no timeline for reopening them.

“IF YOU SEE FIRE, EVACUATE. Go east, go north, but leave immediately,” the Boulder County Office of Emergency Management tweeted.

Yahoo! News reported that Broomfield, the city directly south of Superior, said that residents did not need to evacuate at 1:30 p.m. local time.

As the wind gusts expected throughout the day, however, CBS Denver reported that Superior officials opened two wildfire evacuation centers at The South Boulder Recreation Center in Boulder and the YMCA in Lafayette. Additionally, the Boulder newspaper said large animals could be cared for at the Boulder County Fairgrounds.

Further, officials sent out other air quality health advisories for southeastern Boulder counties. But that advisory included Louisville, Superior, Lafayette, and Broomfield.