(Superior) Two people are missing after fires destroyed hundreds of homes Thursday in Colorado, authorities said on Saturday.
After receiving hundreds of calls from concerned relatives, emergency services have located almost all of the people displaced by the flames, but “two missing people” remain, Jennifer Churchill, spokesperson for the office, told AFP. Emergency Management Center.
“We are investigating” them, she added, without giving further details.
Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said on Friday that no deaths have yet been reported, which seemed “miraculous” given the violence and speed of the fire.
At least 500 homes went up in smoke and tens of thousands had to flee, chased away by flames that destroyed entire neighborhoods “in the blink of an eye,” according to Colorado Governor Jared Polis.
“Families only had a few minutes to put everything they could – their animals, their children – in the car and leave,” he explained.
Snowfall stopped the fire from spreading on Friday.
The damage is startling: in aerial images, entire streets are little more than piles of smoking ash. The fire, unlike previous fires, affected suburbs and not just rural areas.
The fires, unusual for the season, were said to have been caused by power lines falling on arid soil, the flames being fueled by strong winds. Colorado has been hit for several years by an exceptional drought, like much of the American West.
In recent years, this part of the United States has experienced unprecedented fires, especially in California and Oregon.
With global warming, the intensity and frequency of droughts and heatwaves are likely to increase further, continuing to create ideal conditions for forest or bush fires.