Colorado Wildfire Causes More Than 19,000 People to Evacuate

by Megan Molseed
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A Colorado wildfire is forcing the evacuation of over 19,000 area residents. This comes as the flames continue to spread near the same area that saw thousands of homes destroyed just a year ago.

The fire, which is spreading just a few miles south of Boulder Colorado, is threatening as many as 8,000 homes and 7,000 buildings. As many as 19,000 people in the area are affected as the fires continue to rage.

Strong Winds Are Fanning Colorado Wildfires Forcing More Residents to Evacuate

Authorities have seen the dangerous wildfires strengthening as wind gusts begin to pick up. According to Boulder Fire-Rescue authorities, the fire has now become out of control, taking over as many as 122 acres at this point.

Thankfully, the strong winds have been subsiding in recent hours. Consequently, residents and first responders are seeing the blaze’s spread beginning to slow. However, the size of the wildfire has already reached a dangerous point. By about 2 p.m. on Saturday, the flames had spread to a protected wildland area.

This protected area is located near the National Center for Atmospheric Research, authorities have noted. Which has led authorities to dub the wildfires the NCAR fire. As of now, the size of the dangerous blaze has already reached disastrous levels; and rescue teams expect to be contending with the out-of-control flames for days to come.

Wildfire Dangers Are Growing Across the U.S. as Areas Are Facing Drought Conditions

While the NCAR fire continues to rage on in Colorado, parched grasses and high winds have been fueling blazes across the state of Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. And, authorities note, the drought conditions in these areas are not expected to subside anytime soon. This, of course, is likely to quicken the spread of the dangerous flames as the days continue.

The First Set Of These Deadly Fires Broke Out Just A Week Ago

The first of the series of blazes which is spreading across more than 42,000 acres began on March 17. It was just three days later that more fires ignited among the grasslands of Arkansas, Texas, and Kansas. By March 20, officials shared the flames had become deadly as three first-responders lost their lives while battling the out-of-control blaze.

As of late last week, 40% of the state of Texas continues to face extreme drought conditions. This, authorities note, will only help fuel the deadly flames.

“We are getting into a period of high drying,” notes Luke Kanclerz, a wildland fire analyst at Texas A&M Forest Service of the conditions.

“And so we do expect to see fire activity to increase over the weekend and into next week,” Kanclerz adds.

Outsider.com