Rare winter fires scorched thousands of acres in the Denver area late last month, forcing tens of thousands to flee.
US President Joe Biden is expected to arrive in Colorado on Friday to determine the damage of recent winter veld fires which destroyed and forced more than 1,000 homes tens of thousands of people to flee.
Two people are missing and feared dead after wind-driven Marshall Fire, the most devastating in the state’s history, burned more than 1,000 homes on December 30 and 31. Human remains allegedly belonging to one of the missing were recovered on Wednesday.
The prairie grass fire in Boulder County, on the northern outskirts of the Denver metropolitan area, scorched more than 6,000 acres (24 square miles) in about two hours, officials said.
The flames sometimes devoured soccer field-sized pieces of drought-dried landscape within seconds.
Entire neighborhoods in the towns of Superior and Louisville were destroyed.
In a statement On Thursday, Boulder County officials said the fires caused more than $ 513 million in damage, as 1,084 residential structures were destroyed and another 149 were damaged across the area.
Biden’s trip to Boulder County, where he will tour a neighborhood in Louisville and meet families displaced by the fire, is his second as president in Colorado and his second focus on wildfires.
He is expected to comment on his response to the fires, US media reported, and he will be accompanied on the visit by First Lady Jill Biden.
Biden has approved emergency declaration for Colorado on Jan. 1, enabling federal aid to flow to state and local governments in the wake of the fires.
A day earlier, the president had also spoken to Colorado Governor Jared Polis and promised “that every effort will be made to provide immediate assistance to people in the communities concerned,” the White House said. said.
Displaced residents are return to their homes to determine the damage.
Rex Hickman, who evacuated the area with his wife and son, said he was sad to discover there was nothing left of their 23-year-old home.
“There is a numbness that hits you first. You know, kind of like you go into crisis mode. “You think about what you can do, what you can not do,” he told The Associated Press news agency earlier this week. “The real pain will subside over time.”