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Wildfire engulfs Boulder, Colorado area

In World News on September 10, 2010 at 6:35 pm

By: Kristen Hegel           

            Roughly 3,000 residents in the Boulder area of Colorado have evacuated their homes due to raging wildfires. The windy conditions, up to 40 mph in some spots, have created trouble for the firefighters’ efforts. With nature working against them, containing the fire has proven to be a difficult task. On Monday, air tankers were not able to leave because of the dangerous wind conditions. With the increasing wind speeds and no help from the air tankers, the fire only spread faster. Later Monday evening, the air tankers were able to take flight, but only until nightfall came around.

As fire burns through the canyon, residents anxiously watch to see where the fire will go next. Photo courtesy of Fox News

            On Tuesday, the weather was favoring the firefighters. According to Commander Rick Brough of the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, seven air tankers, three helicopters, and two spotter planes were sent out to help put an end to the blaze and protect housing from further damage. Brough explained that Tuesday’s conditions were “going to allow us to get air tankers up in the air.” Another challenge for the firefighters is the terrain of the area, which is very steep and rugged, making it much more difficult to reach and put out the fire. As reported by Brough, more equipment, machinery, and even other firefighters will be entering the area soon to assist with the job. In order to avoid flames, firefighters’ equipment and engines had to be moved around.

            The wildfire, so far, has covered 3,500 acres and, according to a fire marshal, has burned down dozens of homes. Four of the homes that have been destroyed belonged to firefighters. Spokeswoman for the fire management team, Laura McConell, said these firefighters were allowed to leave to deal with their issues caused by the fire. No injuries have been reported. “We did mandatory evacuations, but we still had people who didn’t leave,” Brough stated, “There’s many subdivisions up there.” On Monday, about 1,000 homes were evacuated. No news or updates on the fire have some residents upset. “There’s no information about anything, I am so frustrated,” Ronda Plywaski, resident and evacuee, explained. Plywaski, her husband and their two dogs stayed the night at Colorado University’s evacuation center after receiving a call Monday morning that they had to evacuate. “I just want to know if my house is okay,” Plywaski added. Tuesday morning, Excel Energy reported that nearly 1,200 residents, that hadn’t been evacuated, had no electricity because of the fire.

            Although the fire has covered a lot of acreage, the wildfire hasn’t spread much into the surrounding areas as of Tuesday. The firefighters are working hard to stop the fire and destruction, even going as far as saving historical landmarks. Hopefully, natural forces work with the firefighters’ efforts so there is less damage and the residents’ lives can return to normal.

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