Thousands of people received an evacuation call due to the rapid advance of the wildfires in Colorado, in the United States, this Thursday, when the flames easily swept the region parched by a historical drought.
Power towers collapsed by powerful winds ignited small fires that took shape in the dehydrated landscape of Boulder County.
A police vehicle passes the highway after wind-driven wildfires generated evacuation orders, near Boulder, Colorado. Photo: Reuters
The 20,000 residents of the city of Louisville, along with the 13,000 residents of Superior, received the evacuation call. The National Meteorological Service affirmed that it is a situation “that is putting lives in danger.”
Winds of about 160 kilometers per hour were reported in several places, fanning the flames and hampering the firefighters’ effort.
Prayers for the thousands of families evacuated from the Superior and Boulder fires, “Colorado Governor Jared Polis wrote on Twitter.
Fast winds are spreading the flames quickly and there are no aircraft flying, “he added.
Like much of the western United States, Colorado experienced years of drought that has left the area parched and vulnerable to wildfires.
Although fires are a natural part of the climate cycle, helping to clear vegetation, their scale and intensity is increasing.
Scientists warn that climate change, largely driven by human activities such as the indiscriminate burning of fossil fuels, is altering weather patterns.
This prolongs droughts in several areas and causes unusual out-of-season storms in other regions, a phenomenon expected to worsen as temperatures around the world continue to rise.
Daniel Swain, a meteorologist at the University of California, tweeted that it was “hard to believe” these fires were occurring in December, when these types of flames are rarely recorded.
But if we take a warm and dry autumn, with only 2.5 cm of snow so far this season, and we add an extreme windstorm (over 160 km / h) … the result is extremely fast fires and dangerous”.