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'Life-threatening' wildfires force evacuations of thousands in Colorado

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 12/30/2021 Trevor Hughes and Doyle Rice, USA TODAY
A cloud of dark gray smoke blows over the town of Superior, Colorado. © Trevor Hughes A cloud of dark gray smoke blows over the town of Superior, Colorado.

BOULDER, Colo. — Several grass fires near Boulder, Colorado, forced thousands of people to flee their homes Thursday, officials said, as high winds knocked down live power lines, igniting the blazes.

The National Weather Service called it a "life-threatening" situation, as one gust of 110 mph was reported in the region. 

On Thursday afternoon, a cloud of dark gray smoke could be seen blowing over the town of Superior, located about 20 miles northwest of Denver.

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The entire town, which has about 13,000 residents, was ordered to evacuate because of a fire that spread northwest of town, according to a notice sent to residents.


Video: Home Damaged In Fire In Stonegate Community In Douglas County Thursday Morning, No Injuries (CBS Denver)

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"Prayers for thousands of families evacuating from the fires in Superior and Boulder County," Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said in a Tweet. "Fast winds are spreading flames quickly and all aircraft are grounded."

The Boulder Police Department is asking drivers to stay off the roads as the smoke is making it hard to see and the roads are becoming clogged, according to Denver's Channel 7. First responders are trying to move around the traffic.

Trevor Hughes reported from Boulder. 

Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'Life-threatening' wildfires force evacuations of thousands in Colorado

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