One person was killed and hundreds more evacuated from their homes in Colorado Monday as a fast-moving wildfire burned through more than four-and-a-half square miles, authorities said.
The death was confirmed overnight by authorities in Jefferson County, Colo., a largely rural area 25 miles southwest of Denver where the wildfire was first reported midday Monday.
Authorities said the fire, which officials suspect flared up from a controlled burn in the area last week, spread quickly because of dry and windy conditions in the area.
At least five homes were destroyed in the area and more than 900 homes were evacuated Monday. Authorities overnight told homeowners in surrounding neighborhoods to be ready to evacuate immediately should the direction of the flame shift.
“A guy whose house I think is on fire right now called me and said get up here and get your horses out,” one evacuee said. “I’ve got nothing … just the clothes on my back and my babies.”
The thick smoke that choked the sky as far away as Denver caused a sheriff’s deputy to drive his patrol car into a ditch while alerting residents to evacuate. He was rescued and no other injuries were reported in the blaze.
Authorities have not released the name of the person who died or the circumstances around the death.
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