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It is feared two more may be missing after being caught in a Colorado wildfire

It is feared two more may be missing after being caught in a Colorado wildfire

DENVER, Jan. 2 (Reuters) – A wildfire in two cities in Boulder County, Colorado, has destroyed nearly 1,000 homes and left two people still missing and feared dead, officials said Sunday.

Boulder County Sheriff Joe Belle told a news conference Sunday that a man who went missing Saturday had been taken into account and that he had not been harmed.

Of the two missing, Belly said he lives in homes burned by unidentified fire.

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Search teams using dogs trained to locate the bodies worked in difficult conditions Sunday, trying to find human remains in the burned buildings, Belle said.

Authorities initially said there were no casualties following the rare urban wildfire that erupted Thursday afternoon in the northern suburbs of the Denver metropolitan area. read more

Belle declined to provide further details during the investigation into how the fire broke out. However, he said investigators found the fire started near the intersection of a state highway and another road in South Boulder. A video posted on Twitter shows a wide-ranging wildfire near the spot where a shed caught fire on Thursday before it started.

“We do not know if that shed or anything around it is the real beginning of the fire or if it’s secondary,” Belle said. “It’s complicated and it’s covered in a foot of snow today.”

The Denver Post On Sunday, law enforcement officers were seen coming from a group of buildings owned by a religious sect in the vicinity where authorities believe the fire started.

A member of the Twelve Tribes, reached by the Denver Post on Sunday, denied that the fire had started at the division’s Boulder property. The panel did not respond to a request for comment from Reuters.

Authorities issued a search warrant for the investigation, but Belle confirmed Saturday that no further details were provided.

Winds of up to 100 mph (160 km / h) on Thursday pushed fires eastward in the cities of Superior and Louisville, prompting both communities to evacuate.

In about two hours, the fire burned more than 6,000 acres, sometimes moving the length of a football field in seconds, officials said.

Belle said 991 homes were destroyed in the unconnected areas of Superior, Louisville and County, the most devastating wildfire in terms of lost homes in state history.

Officials initially said sparks may have been burning from power lines that were downed by strong winds, but a study by utility company Excel Energy (XEL.O) There were no damaged or falling lines near the source of the fire.

US President Joe Biden has declared the area a national disaster and is releasing federal funds to help the affected people and businesses in their rescue efforts.

Governor Jared Police said Sunday, “I know this is going to be a tough time in your life … we will be strong again because Colorado is strong.”

Report by Keith Kaufman in Denver, Kanishka Singh in Bangalore, Rich McKay in Atlanta and Brad Brooks in Lubbock, Texas; Editing by Daniel Wallis, Diane Croft and Lisa Schumacher

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.