Thousands told to evacuate homes again months after devastating wildfire


The community in Boulder lost 1,000 homes in 2021 (Picture: Getty Images)

Thousands of people have been ordered to evacuate part of Colorado as forest fires returned to a region devastated by flames last year.

Officials told 19,400 people near Boulder to leave their homes on Saturday as a fast-moving wildfire scorched hills south of the town.

The blaze is not far from the site of a destructive December 2021 blaze that levelled more than 1,000 homes.

The wildfire was fuelled by wind earlier in the day and had grown to 122 acres (49 hectares) with no containment, Boulder fire-rescue spokesperson Marya Washburn explained.

The Boulder Office of Emergency Management said an overnight shelter was opened after evacuation orders covered 8,000 homes and 7,000 structures. No structures have yet been damaged, it added earlier.

Alicia Miller’s home was torched in the blaze last year – and she can again see smoke from Saturday’s fire rising.

She posted a photo on Twitter and referenced the climate crisis, which has made the western USA warmer and drier in the past 30 years.


Amitai Beh, 6, watches the NCAR Fire through binoculars on March 26, 2022 in Boulder, Colorado.

Amitai Beh, six, watches the fire through binoculars on Sunday (Picture: Getty Images)


An air tanker drops slurry on the NCAR Fire on March 26, 2022 in Boulder, Colorado.

An air tanker drops slurry on the NCAR Fire (Picture: Getty Images)

Scientists expect it will continue to make weather more extreme and wildfires more destructive.

‘I feel exhausted by all of this, and I just feel like enough as far as these fires and disasters,’ Ms Miller said.

She added the hardest losses from the blaze were things they didn’t look at much, like baby shoes, family pictures and letters from her grandmother.

Ms Miller said her neighbours helped her escape along with her husband, Craig, their three adult sons and two dogs, Ginger and Chloe, last year.

She highlighted a recent Texas wildfire that left a deputy dead and homes destroyed.


A tree goes up in flames as the NCAR Fire burns on March 26, 2022 in Boulder, Colorado.

A tree goes up in flames in Boulder, Colorado, on Sunday (Picture: Getty Images)


The NCAR Fire burns on March 26, 2022 in Boulder, Colorado.

The wildfire has forced almost 20,000 people to evacuate their homes (Picture: Getty Images)


A home that was destroyed in the Marshall Fire in December of 2021 sits in ruins as the NCAR Fire burns in the distance on March 26, 2022 in Boulder, Colorado.

A home that was destroyed in the 2021 fire sits in ruins (Picture: Getty Images)

‘So I’m standing there and it’s just kind of a repeat’, she said.

Winds and temperatures have died down in the area, fire official Ms Washburn explained.

But experts expect to be dealing with the fire for several days due to the amount of fuel available to the fire, Boulder fire-rescue wildland division chief Brian Oliver explained.

Planes have been seen dropping slurry on the fire.


A firefighter watches as the NCAR Fire burns on March 26, 2022 in Boulder, Colorado.

A firefighter watches on as smoke engulfs trees (Picture: Getty Images)


Firetrucks sit in a neighborhood next to the NCAR Fire on March 26, 2022 in Boulder, Colorado.

Firetrucks sit in a neighborhood next to the NCAR Fire (Picture: Getty Images)

The fire is in an area where 1,000 homes were destroyed last year in unincorporated Boulder County and suburban Superior and Louisville.

Superior town officials reassured residents in an email that there were no immediate concerns for the community.

Saturday’s fire started at around 2 pm and burned protected wildland near the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder police said.

Authorities have called it the NCAR fire and its cause is not yet known, Ms Washburn added.

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