Colorado wildfire forces evacuation of more than 19,000 residents

The fire is spreading near the same area where a 2021 blaze destroyed more than 1,000 homes

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Colorado authorities ordered the evacuation of more than 8,000 homes and 7,000 buildings, affecting more than 19,000 people in Boulder as a rolling wildfire threatened the area, officials said. 

The wildfire was strengthened by wind earlier in the day and was out of control after growing to 122 acres, Boulder Fire-Rescue spokesperson Marya Washburn said. 

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Smoke billows from a wildfire Saturday, March 26, 2022 in Marshall, Colo., a few miles south of Boulder, Colo.  (AP Photo/Dave Zelio)

Smoke billows from a wildfire Saturday, March 26, 2022 in Marshall, Colo., a few miles south of Boulder, Colo.  (AP Photo/Dave Zelio) (AP Photo/Dave Zelio)

While the boisterous weather has since subsided, authorities believe they will battle the blaze for several more days, said Boulder Fire-Rescue Wildland Division Chief Brian Oliver.

The fire is spreading near the same area where a 2021 blaze destroyed more than 1,000 homes.

Smoke billows from a wildfire Saturday, March 26, 2022 in Marshall, Colo., a few miles south of Boulder, Colo.  (AP Photo/Dave Zelio)

Smoke billows from a wildfire Saturday, March 26, 2022 in Marshall, Colo., a few miles south of Boulder, Colo.  (AP Photo/Dave Zelio) (AP Photo/Dave Zelio)

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The new blaze grew to a sizable threat around 2 p.m. Saturday, when it spread to protected wildland near the National Center for Atmospheric Research, police said. As a result, authorities have called it the NCAR fire.

This photo provided by realtor Alicia Miller shows the ruins of Miller's former house, which burned to the ground on Dec. 30, 2021, in the devastating Marshall Fire that roared through Louisville, Colo., as smoke from the NCAR Fire burns, Saturday, March 26, 2022, in the background. (Alicia Miller via AP)

This photo provided by realtor Alicia Miller shows the ruins of Miller's former house, which burned to the ground on Dec. 30, 2021, in the devastating Marshall Fire that roared through Louisville, Colo., as smoke from the NCAR Fire burns, Saturday, March 26, 2022, in the background. (Alicia Miller via AP) (Alicia Miller via AP)

There is no yet known cause for the fire.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.