As many as 500 homes, perhaps more, destroyed in fast-moving Colorado wildfire

Cause of the blaze still under investigation

Updated: December 31, 2021 - 5:46pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The wind-driven wildfire that tore through Colorado has potentially destroyed as many as 500 homes, officials said Friday.

At least seven people were injured in the fire outside of Denver on Thursday, but as of late Friday afternoon, there were no reports of deaths of missing persons, according to the Associated Press

Residents said they returned to their homes in the early morning to find one house reduced so smoldering ashes while the one next door stood essentially unscathed. 

The wildfire erupted in and around Louisville and Superior, neighboring towns about 20 miles northwest of Denver, the wire service also reports

Tens of thousands were told to flee as the flames, driven by 105 mph gusts, swept over the drought-stricken area. Ninety percent of Boulder County is in a severe or extreme-drought situation.  

The cause of the blaze is still under investigation. 

The blaze burned at least 9.4 square miles before diminishing winds and the light snow that fell Friday morning made it no longer a threat, the wire service also reports

Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said more than 500 homes could be destroyed, though the number could be as large as 1,000, the wire service also reports.