Three people were reported missing after wildfires in the US state of Colorado destroyed nearly 1,000 homes. The authorities announced this on Saturday.
Bushfires engulfed entire neighborhoods in the municipalities of Superior and Louisville on Thursday. At least 991 homes were set ablaze. It happened “in the blink of an eye,” Colorado Governor Jared Polis said. The wildfires were fueled by gusts of more than 100 miles per hour.
“Families only had minutes to pack whatever they could bring — their pets and children — into the car and leave,” the governor said. About 33,000 Superior and Louisville residents were ordered to evacuate their homes Thursday, most of them carrying no more than they were wearing at the time.
Showers prevented the fire from spreading further on Friday, but at the same time made the search for missing people more difficult. “The buildings where people may have been destroyed are completely destroyed and are currently covered in about eight inches of snow,” said Joe Bailey, the warden in Boulder.
Wildfires are more common in Colorado, but not usually this time of year. Contrary to previous claims, researchers have not yet found reliable evidence to support the hypothesis that fallen power poles caused the wildfires. The US state has been experiencing severe drought for years, which makes the subsoil more flammable.