Several fires burned thousands of acres across central and southern Colorado on Thursday, threatening homes, destroying bridges and scorching land parched by a winter-long drought.
As firefighters gained the upper hand on one fire, another would ignite, shuffling thousands of residents in and out of their homes as quickly as the wind whipped along the Front Range and eastern plains. By Thursday night, more than 10,000 acres had burned, according to initial estimates, Colorado Springs Gazette reports.
Evacuation orders were issued Monday for about 100 homes in the mountains west of Denver and people in at least 200 more homes were told to be ready to leave as two separate wildfires kept firefighters battling flames driven by 40 mph winds.
One wildfire west of Golden had charred a little more than a square mile, or 850 acres, of rugged, steep terrain, with crews periodically retreating when winds kicked up, Jefferson County sheriff's officials said.
A grass fire of about eight acres was threatening at least 25 homes near Evergreen, roughly 20 miles southwest of Golden, while a third, smaller fire in the mountains west of Denver destroyed a structure before it was contained. Crews had contained 30 percent of the Evergreen fire by evening, Sify reports.