More than 500 homes in Colorado have burned down as the state prepares for snowstorms.
The fires building in Boulder County, Colorado, have already destroyed at least 580 houses as of Thursday evening, more than any wildfire in Colorado state history, Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said in a press statement. This count does not include the homes that burned in all parts of Boulder County, such as Louisville, or the businesses affected by the fire.
While officials have not released estimates, it is believed that the fire could be "twice as destructive as the Black Forest Fire" that hit Colorado a decade ago, according to KDVR.
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But local weather experts anticipate the fires could die down Friday. "All single-digit wind speeds in Boulder County this morning," tweeted Ashton Altieri of CBS Denver. "The flames that remain should be out by the end of the day with so much cold and snow on the way."
Finally, all single digit wind speeds in Boulder County this morning. The flames that remain should be out by the end of the day with so much cold and snow on the way. #cowx #4wx @ChrisCBS4 @DaveCBS4 @CBS4Dom @michelleCBS4 @makenziepokeefe pic.twitter.com/taWxoo0DN8— Ashton Altieri (@AshtonCBS4) December 31, 2021
Boulder County is currently facing a winter storm warning, with an expected five to 10 inches of snow by Saturday morning, CBS Denver reported Friday.
Fires began rapidly spreading in the towns of Louisville and Superior on Thursday, forcing the evacuation of over 34,000 people. The blazes were driven by solid winds recorded at 110 mph, creating a "life-threatening" situation in the area.
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis declared a state of emergency and said during a press conference Thursday that somewhere between 500 and 600 homes and businesses had been destroyed. Officials believe at least 1,600 acres of land have been burned so far.
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The Louisville Police Department told residents to evacuate east and north but to avoid the south.
There were at least two major wildland fires, the Marshall Fire and the Middle Fork Fire, in the area, according to the Boulder Emergency Operations Center. The weather service has also identified another smaller fire in the area.