As much as 30 centimeters of snow is expected in some parts of the state, in a snowstorm that should help put out fires, but it could also pose new “serious” challenges to travel in some areas, according to the US Weather Service.
“It will be cold as we enter New Year’s tonight,” the Boulder Weather Service delegation wrote on Twitter, adding that “it will snow over most of the area by midnight.”
At least 33,000 people in the cities of Superior and Louisville were forced to find shelter Thursday as fires spread to parched areas of the historic drought. Authorities estimate the number of homes lost in the fire at around 600.
“It’s total devastation…we saw houses exploding right in front of our eyes,” Mayor Clint Folsom told CNN on Friday.
But the arrival of cooler weather, and lighter winds, at least temporarily, put out the most devastating fires earlier Friday, allowing local authorities to cancel evacuation orders outside of Boulder County.
Smoke was still billowing in many parts of Superior until early Friday, after gusting winds set several scattered fires ablaze, sometimes charring homes next to intact homes still decorated with Christmas lights.
At least 650 acres were burned, largely in Boulder County, northwest of Denver.
It is believed that the fires started when winds brought down power lines. Winds in excess of 160 kilometers per hour have been reported at some locations.
The fire destroyed a hotel, shopping mall and apartment complex in Superior, where a mandatory evacuation order remained in effect until early Friday.
Colorado media reported that at least six people were taken to hospital with injuries.
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