2 cities evacuated by wind-driven wildfire
Thousands of residents in two communities near Denver were ordered to evacuate Thursday because of a wind-fueled wildfire that engulfed parts of the area in smoky, orangish skies.
The city of Louisville, which has a population of about 21,000, was ordered to evacuate after residents in Superior, which has 13,000 residents, were told to leave. The neighboring towns are roughly 20 miles (32 kilometers) northwest of Denver.
A nearby portion of U.S. Highway 36 also was shut down because of fire.
The blaze near the towns was one of several that started in the area Thursday, at least some sparked by downed powerlines, as winds gusted up to 105 mph and sent flames racing through barren trees, according to the National Weather Service.
Colorado’s Front Range, where most of the state’s population lives, had an extremely dry and mild fall, and winter so far has continued to be mostly dry. Snow was expected Friday in the region though.