A fierce, wind-driven wildfire destroyed hundreds of homes, injured at least a half dozen people and prompted the evacuation of tens of thousands of residents in and around two towns east of the Rockies near Denver, authorities said on Thursday, Trend reports citing Reuetrs.
The swiftly spreading prairie grass fire was believed to have been ignited by sparks from power lines and transformers toppled by high winds on Colorado's drought-parched Front Range, according to Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle.
Evacuation orders were first issued for all residents in the town of Superior, Colorado, with a population of about 13,000, and a short time later for the adjacent municipality of Louisville, home to more than 18,000 residents, the Boulder County emergency management office said on Twitter.
Separately, the National Weather Service office in Boulder tweeted: "All Superior under an Evacuation ORDER. LEAVE NOW!"
Within hours, the blaze had swept an estimated 1,600 acres (647.5 hectares) and destroyed more than 500 homes, Pelle told reporters at a news briefing.