Devastating Colorado wildfires in the Boulder County area on Thursday have forced thousands of people to move and evacuate their homes. Approximately 580+ homes have been destroyed due to the wildfire that engulfed the area in grey smoke.

Several cities and areas have been ordered to evacuate mandatorily, including Superior, Louisville, and some parts of Westminster. The Colorado wildfires were declared a state of emergency by Governor Jared Polis. The decision came fast as the fires seemed to overtake thousands of acres of land within a few hours. “This fire is not so much a question of resources. This fire is a force of nature,” said governor Polis, when declaring an emergency in the state so resources and funds could be released for it.

Polis also said in his news briefing, “This area, for those who don’t know this area of Boulder County, is right in and around suburban sub-developments, stores – It’s like the neighborhood that you live in,1,600 acres near a population center can be, and is in this case, absolutely devastating.”

The biggest and most significant among the Colorado wildfires is called ‘The Marshall Fire’. Officials have suspected the initial small grass fires were caused by downed power lines that then got swept into this behemoth due to extremely high winds of up to 105 mph.   

Along with Colorado’s Department of Public Health and Environment, Louisville issued a boil water advisory for the city saying, “Protect yourself by using bottled water or boiling any water to be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation until further notice.”

In the thousands that had to evacuate were several hospital patients, still in critical care that had to be relocated to bring them to safety. The Centura-Avista Adventist Hospital CEO, Isaac Sendros released a statement post-election saying, “Avista Adventist Hospital has been a part of this community since 1895, and to see this level of devastation is heartbreaking for all of us. Our hospital is in the center of a neighborhood that burned today. Despite what we saw outside our doors, our team was focused on quickly and safely evacuating our patients and staff.”

Further on, a hospital spokesperson Lindsay Radford advised people to stay away from hospital premises, even if it was a Colorado wildfires related injury or emergency, “Patients should not attempt to go to Avista Adventist Hospital; nearby roads have been closed. Patients should go to the nearest hospital to receive services or call 9-1-1 if it is emergency.”