Colorado wildfire: Two people remain missing and presumed dead

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
Snow helped extinguish the blaze

Two people remain missing after a devastating wildfire hit the central US state of Colorado.

One of the missing was a 91-year-old woman whose family had been trapped by the incoming flames, local media say.

The blaze swept through several towns, destroying hundreds of homes and forcing thousands of people to flee.

Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle had said it was unlikely any of the missing would be found alive. But one person had now been found safe and well.

The wildfire burned 6,000 acres across Boulder County, destroying at least 1,000 homes and businesses. It started under unusually dry conditions and came under control in part because of snowfall.

More than 10 inches (25cm) of snow has fallen on the Boulder area and is now hampering efforts to find those missing.

Images showed eerie scenes, with charred buildings buried under thick snow.

Media caption,
Woman who evacuated from Louisville says families in her neighbourhood have "lost everything"

Residents hit by the wildfire are coming to terms with what happened, in some cases returning home to find complete destruction.

"I feel like I made it out with my life and that's I think the most important thing," Jessi Delaplain, who lost her home to the fire, told CBS.

"I gathered myself and I gathered my cats which was no easy feat to stuff them into the car. And I pulled out of the driveway and there were flames surrounding us."

The cause of the wildfire is being investigated.

Climate change increases the risk of the hot, dry weather that is likely to fuel wildfires, and experts say that fires in western North America have grown more intense in recent years.

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