Colorado’s wildfire season sparks up again as fires blaze through Boulder County


Multiple wildfires broke out in Boulder County on Thursday, resulting in evacuation orders and the deployment of multiple fire departments.

Last year saw Colorado’s most active fire season in recorded history, and officials feared the worst when the first blaze of 2021 began in January. Luckily the Fort Lyon Fire was contained a day later, and few fires broke out between then and the summertime, when Colorado typically experiences the worst the season has to offer. With a monsoon that brought exceptional rain, Colorado was mostly spared from the types of blazes it saw in 2020 that included nine that made the list of top 20 largest fires in state history. Sadly, dry conditions, unusually high temperatures, and a suspiciously quiet snow season have combined with intense winds that intensified two identified fires in Boulder County. According to Denver NBC affiliate KUSA, Boulder County saw wind gusts of 70 mph or more, further fueling the flames. Some nearby areas saw gusts as intense as 90 mph. It’s unclear how many acres the fires, known as the Marshall Fire and Middle Fork Fire, have impacted.

The cities of Superior, which has a population of around 13,000 people, and Louisville, which boasts 20,000 residents, are facing evacuation orders. The wind has knocked out power in some areas, and visibility has been so limited because of the blazes that KUSA reported conditions in which drivers attempting to evacuate can only see a quarter of a mile in front of them or less. KUSA spoke with one woman named Carol, who was able to take shelter at a community center. She reported seeing “a lot of cars, a lot of traffic, a lot of smoke.”

“I did see flames and fire but a lot of traffic. And people just trying to get out,” Carol told the station.

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