Rare wildfires in Boulder County, Colorado, force evacuation

Wildfire smoke billows into the air north of Denver on Thursday, December 30, 2021.

Wildfire smoke billows into the air north of Denver on Thursday, December 30, 2021.
Photo: Peter Orsi (AP)

A series of rare wildfires in December combined with raging winds of more than 105 mph (169 kph) led to the evacuation of thousands in northern Colorado on Thursday. It’s the latest bizarre air disaster to unleash chaos in a strange, shock-ridden December full of them.

salads with Boulder Office of Emergency Management He said about 13,000 residents in the town finest and 21,000 in Louisville — both near Denver — to evacuate in the final hours due to the deadly threat posed by the Middle Fork Fire and Marshall Fire. The lawn fires were caused by high winds across the front range, which was dry and mild in the fall and winter, the office of Colorado Governor Jared Polis said, and said the governor had declared a state of emergency.

according to News agencyThe downed power lines may have started some fires in what is Increasingly common occurrence across the west. (Not usually in December.)

“The Boulder OEM gets many calls about residents seeing a fire. If you see a fire, evacuate. Go east, go north, but leave immediately,” Boulder OEM He wrote on his website Noon local time.

However, this does not mean that residents should wait for evacuation until they see the flames Boulder National Weather Service He urged residents of the affected areas to leave immediately.

Boulder OEM added in a later alert that some residents lost power and were unable to evacuate because they could not get their cars out of the garage, which seems like a very stressful issue in such a dangerous situation.

“All garages have a red handle on the inside that allows you to open the garage manually. Pull the handle to open your garage door,” said Boulder OEM.

A video clip from a local KMGH-TV reporter near the Home Depot in Louisville looked like a scene from another world. Smoke covered the area like a thick blanket as the wind shook the trees. else shots Several burnt structures appear on the ground as the wind blew through the trees. While these scenes become commonplace in the summer as the climate crisis prepares the West to burn, the intensity and location of these fires burning in what is known as the wilderness-urban front in December is deeply disturbing in a whole new way.

“Prayer for the thousands of families who have been evacuated from the fires in Superior County and Boulder. Fast winds spread the flames quickly and all aircraft are grounded,” Governor Polis said. Twitter.

The wildfires join a parade of dangerous weather events that swept the United States in December. Among them strange heat In the eastern third of the country while The Northern Rockies are in a deep freeze; Unprecedented heat For any winter month in Alaska; Brutal snow storms in California; Deadly hurricanes in the south; and wind and dust storm belated by derecho.

This is also the second bizarre fire outbreak in Colorado in as many months. In mid-November, wildfires broke out in the mountains near Gateway to Rocky Mountain National ParkA place that usually gets used to snow rather than flames at this time of year.

Much of the wild weather was caused by a jet stream that took strange fluctuations, allowing cold air to seep in from the Arctic and warm air to rush in from the tropics in strange places. The split in the temperature gradient has helped fuel some strange weather. Climate change, of course, increases the odds of wildfires burning because a little extra heat allows the fires to spread more quickly.

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