Colorado wildfires send residents scrambling for cover, force two towns to evacuate

Wind gusts have been reported higher than 100 mph

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Colorado wildfires have forced citizens in two cities to evacuate and produced harrowing videos on social media of residents fleeing the flames.

The city of Louisville, which has a population of 21,000, was evacuated after residents in Superior, which has 13,000 residents, were told to leave.

At least six people have been treated for burns, according to the Colorado Sun, and a CBS 4 Denver reporter tweeted that a fire department source believes more than 300 homes have been lost. 

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Superior is about 20 miles (32 kilometers) northwest of Denver. Louisville is just 4 miles (6 kilometers) northeast of Superior.

Smoke from a wildfire rises in the background, Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021, in Superior, Colo. All 13,000 residents of the northern Colorado town were ordered to evacuate Thursday because of a wildfire driven by strong winds. (AP Photo/David Zelio)

Smoke from a wildfire rises in the background, Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021, in Superior, Colo. All 13,000 residents of the northern Colorado town were ordered to evacuate Thursday because of a wildfire driven by strong winds. (AP Photo/David Zelio)

A nearby portion of U.S. Highway 36 was also shut down because of fire.

The blaze northwest of Superior was one of several fires that started in the area Thursday, with at least some sparked by downed powerlines, as winds have gusted up to 105 mph (169 kph), according to the National Weather Service.

A scene straight out of an apocalyptic movie was captured in bystander video outside a Costco in Superior. It shows winds whipping through the barren trees in the parking lot surrounded by gray skies, a hazy sun, and small fires scattered across the ground.

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"If you are in Louisville, this is a life threatening situation," the National Weather Service tweeted Thursday. "LEAVE NOW! #MarshallFire."


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Colorado's governor, Democrat Jared Polis, has declared a state of emergency.

Police in Broomfield, Colorado urged residents not to travel to the Boulder, Colorado area at this time and warned that many roads are closed.

Associated Press contributed to this report