Fires in Colorado produced big damage and a major disaster was declared

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Snow finally extinguished the most destructive wildfires in Colorado history. On Saturday, authorities said 991 homes were destroyed and another 127 were damaged. The fires, which sprung up dramatically and suddenly on Thursday, forced the evacuation of more than 30,000 people. At least seven people were injured in the wildfire that erupted in and around Louisville and Superior. Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said Saturday that three people are missing. Thursday’s fire was an urban grass fire, with dry conditions exacerbated by powerful wind gusts. The snowfall on Friday and Saturday blanketed much of the state, with roughly 5 inches in Denver and nearly a foot in Boulder. Residents have slowly started returning to see the scale of the devastation. They were desperate to see if their home was still standing. Some were reduced to just “smoking holes in the ground.”

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Utility crews work to restore electricity and gas service to homes that survived. Officials still have not determined the cause of the fire. They found no downed power lines around where the fire broke out. Instead, to search for the cause of the fires, some properties were investigated. President Biden declared that a major disaster exists in the State of Colorado and ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by wildfires. Homeowners won’t have to wait for official damage estimates before receiving assistance which can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners. Scientists say climate change is making weather more extreme and wildfires more frequent and destructive.