An 8,000 acre Colorado wildfire rapidly spread overnight causing 14,000 acres to become engulfed in flames while forcing evacuations.
The new acreage total was released by the sheriff’s office on Sunday as firefighters continued to battle the blaze that has been named the High Park fire. The wildfire has been helped along by high temperatures and dry brush since it began Saturday morning just 15 miles west of Fort Collins.
So far eighteen structures have been damaged or burned down although details about those losses have not yet been revealed.
Some residents were moved to an emergency shelter at a middle school in La Porte and a highway in the area was closed.
To reach residents nearly 1,600 phones lines were contacted as evacuations were the number-one priority for residents. Police and local firefighters also went door to door to ensure that residents had been safely evacuated from the area. In one incident a wedding party was forced to flee after attempting to celebrate the special occasion just miles from the approaching flames.
The Colorado wildfire has spread despite the best efforts of 250 firefighters working alongside air tankers and helicopters.
In the meantime officials are being met with a lack of resources brought on after regional workers were sent out to deal with the Whitewater Baldy fire in New Mexico and other smaller wildfires in other parts of the region.
At this time officials are still not certain what caused the Colorado Wildfire and they believe cooler conditions will not necessarily help the situation in the short-term.