After fleeing the latest Colorado wildfires, residents return to their homes

Nearly 22,000 people fled a wildfire in northern Colorado. They returned home Monday after firefighters stopped the spread of the fire on 190 acres (77 ha).

After fleeing the latest Colorado wildfires, residents return to their homes

The Boulder fire, which erupted Saturday in rolling hills near Boulder, burned to within 1,000 meters (914m) of homes at the west end the college town. This is near the area where more than 1,000 homes were destroyed in a wildfire that was sparked by strong winds in December. The winds didn't stop aircraft from being used, and they were able lay lines of fire retardant close to homes.

35% of the fire was contained by containment lines Monday. Brian Oliver, incident commander, stated that the lines would hold in spite of winds and rainstorms Tuesday.

He said that firefighters were working to extinguish the embers from the area and work them into the soil, which was moistened by recent snowfall. However, the grass that burned was still dry and dormant. Oliver stated that smoke was visible from some trees. This would continue for several weeks.

Wildfires were once a summer tradition, but they are now a regular occurrence all year in the West. This is due to the increasing drought and extreme temperatures across the region.

The severity of December's devastating fire in Colorado was eased by winter precipitation. In recent days, however, Western states were engulfed by a heatwave. Boulder County recorded a temperature of 78°F (26 Celsius), which is more than 20 degrees higher than the average highs. In Texas, the temperatures reached the 90s in southern Arizona.

Texas firefighters battled several wildfires. The largest one was 85-square miles (220 km) in size and was 90% contained.

Another fire was also raging near Fort Hood, Texas. Residents were evacuated, but allowed to return later in the day. The fire has destroyed approximately 27 square miles (70 km2).

Red flag warnings were issued Monday in many areas of Texas because of the windy, dry conditions.


 

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