‘Evacuate now. Go north or east’: Thousands of terrified Boulder residents flee as TWO fast-moving DECEMBER wildfires – whipped up by 100mph winds – burn: entire cities of Superior and Louisville are evacuated
Thousands of frightened residents in Colorado were ordered to evacuate after strong winds downed power lines and caused a transformer to explode, sparking two fast-moving grass fires, according to the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office.
The Middle Fork Fire is north of Boulder near the intersection of North Foothills Highway and Middle Fork Road.
The Marshall Fire is south of Boulder close to the intersection of South Cherryvale Road and Marshall Drive. The size of the fires have not been confirmed.
All residents in Superior, a total of about 4,000 households, have been instructed to evacuate, authorities announced. Evacuees were directed to the South Boulder Recreation Center, the Lafayette YMCA, or the Longmont Senior Center.
Residents of Louisville have also been directed to quickly evacuate. The The South Boulder Recreation Center is serving as an evacuation site.
Two wildfires were sparked near Boulder, Colorado this morning after strong winds caused downed power lines and exploding transformers in the area
Residents of Superior and Louisville have begun to be evacuated. Citizens of Boulder County have been warned to flee to if they see flames
Thousands are without power and roads have been closed as the winds and fire persist
‘In the case of evacuation, head east or north. Do not evacuate to the south,’ the Louisville Police Department warned.
Huge plumes of smoke filled the air as the dangerous winds continued to blow the fires along. The National Weather Service reported an ‘extraordinary’ gust of wind reaching 105 mph just south of the Boulder city limit Thursday morning.
Boulder County spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill said any residents who can see fire should leave immediately. All local residents were instructed to close their windows to protect against the smoke.
Colorado Governor Jared Polis tweeted: ‘Prayers for thousands of families evacuating from the fires in Superior and Boulder County. Fast winds are spreading flames quickly and all aircraft are grounded.’
Denver International Airport has been put in a ground delay meaning flights will be pushed back at least 40 minutes.
The city of Boulder activated its Emergency Operations Center to help residents respond to the active situation.
Multiple structures reportedly caught fire. and thousands of people were reportedly without power after the intense winds sent power lines crashing to the ground.
Xcel Energy reported more than 48 power outages affecting close to 4,700 customers, Fox 31 reported.
The Costco store in Superior was evacuated as the fires crept toward the supermarket Thursday afternoon.
A crowd of shoppers was seen exiting the store as gray smoke filled the entrance and obstructed the view.
The Colorado State Patrol closed Highway 93 between Highway 58 and Highway 128, Highway 36 and US 36 among other roads noting that ‘several high profile vehicles have been blown over due to the wind.’
University of Colorado Boulder Facilities Management confirmed that many trees and branches on the campus have been toppled over by the winds.
The Boulder Office of Emergency Management made clear that the fires are their top priorities and have requested that people only call their hotline in regards to the fire.
‘We DO NOT need donations at this time–please don’t call the EOC. We need to keep the lines clear. Thank you,’ the office tweeted.