The US Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for parts of the mountainous state in the west of the country, predicting heavy rains in the coming days.
At least 500 homes were destroyed and tens of thousands of people had to flee, but so far no deaths have been reported, “a miracle,” said Colorado Governor Jared Polis.
“The families only had a few minutes to pack everything they could into the car and leave,” Polis said at a press conference on Friday.
On Thursday, strong winds, which reached 160 kilometers per hour on Thursday, fueled the flames, likely sparked by the collapse of power stations on dry ground, according to authorities.
The final number of houses destroyed is not yet known. Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said there were more than 500, but he noted that there could be “a thousand more” homes.
The flames saved some neighborhoods from destroying neighboring homes and, unlike other fires, were not contained in rural areas but hit some suburbs, he said.
“When you look at the devastation, it’s unbelievable that we don’t have a list of 100 missing people, but we don’t,” Pelle said.
In response to an appeal from Governor Polis, US President Joe Biden promised that “every effort will be made to provide immediate assistance to affected people and populations,” the White House indicated.