Speed Reads

'absolutely devastating'

Thousands evacuate as Colorado wildfires burn hundreds of homes

Tens of thousands of Colorado residents were told to evacuate on Thursday as two wildfires burned hundreds of homes, The Associated Press and CNN report

Evacuation orders were issued in Louisville and Superior, and the fires were fed by "historic" winds of between 80 and 100 miles per hour with gusts up to 115, according to CNN. At least six injuries have been reported, and officials said the fires burned at least 580 homes, as well as a shopping center and a hotel, per the AP.  

"I'd like to emphasize that due to the magnitude of this fire, the intensity of this fire and its presence in such a heavily populated area, we would not be surprised if there are injuries or fatalities," Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said

The Washington Post reported that over 500 homes being burned is "likely to make it the most destructive fire in state history," and National Weather Service meteorologist Jennifer Stark told the Post, "It's absolutely devastating to lose the number of homes, businesses that we've seen. It's historic and devastating to the people who live here." Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) declared a state of emergency