Hundreds Homeless From Colorado Wildfire

By: CBS
By: CBS

In Colorado, at least 60 structures have already burned in a wildfire. Now, state and federal officials are joining hundreds of firefighters on the ground to help contain it.

Ten airtankers and helicopters dropped retardant from above as part of the intensive effort to control a 7,000-acre fire that's still spreading.

"Pray for rain, first of all,” said Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle. “What it's going to take is higher humidities and calmer winds and a very large effort."

The flames have burned dozens of homes in the Boulder foothills.

"It came up and over the ridge, took out house on top of ridge, took out house next to us and ours was third to go," said victim Tom Neuer.

"It was so close, like from here to those trees, whoosh wall of fire, most amazing thing I ever heard," said Anna Neuer.

More than 1,000 people have evacuated, though about a dozen refused to leave. The fire started Monday, possibly when a car crashed into a propane tank and exploded.

In less than 36 hours, this has become the worst fire in Boulder in two decades. Fire crews from neighboring states are now heading this way, hoping more manpower will get it under control.

"At least nine firefighters, while actively fighting the fire, lost their homes,” said Fire Incident Commander Don Whittemore. “And that's a testament to the commitment and the bravery and the dedication of the folks."

So far, there are no injuries or deaths. The governor has declared a state of emergency and put up $5 million to help fight the fire.

The evacuation was hampered Tuesday when the county’s phone alert system failed for about two hours.


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