Investigators are moving closer to determining the cause of the recent Colorado wildfire that destroyed nearly 1,000 buildings. Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle told reporters on Monday that investigators have narrowed the fire’s origin to an area near Boulder. Pelle declined to give out more information, saying that the full report will come later.
The inferno broke out late last year, following months of drought that included a dry fall and snowless winter months. According to investigators, the area they have narrowed it down to did not have any fallen powerlines or evidence to suggest the fire was caused by power problems.
Investigators say that a burning shed was captured on video by a passerby in the area identified one day before the fire began. Dozens of people have been interviewed over the matter, allowing investigators to narrow the region. The FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the U.S. Forest Service officials aided the investigation.
At the moment, experts are still searching the fire scene for more evidence, and rescue efforts are still underway. Two people are still missing, and survivors are still searching their charred homes to salvage whatever can be saved.
The sheriff told reporters that the area of Boulder known as Marshall Mesa near the base of the Rocky Mountains was the main source of the deadly fire. The region overlooks heavily populated suburbs in the east, where the fast-moving fire caused the worst damage.
Pelle says that the stakes are high at the moment, and it is in everyone’s best interest to wait until investigations are over to find out the real cause of the fire. He told reporters that everyone will have to wait for the investigators “to announce some progress — perhaps that may be a week, perhaps that may be a month.” He added that getting it right is “more important than the urge for speed that a lot of folks are feeling right now.”
Although experts say that the winter fire was a rare occurrence, they have warned that similar situations should be expected in the future. They say as climate change warms the planet, extreme wildfires are likely to break out, especially considering local droughts.
The fire is no longer considered an immediate threat. Temperatures have dropped, and snowfall covered most of the affected areas. However, fire experts are still on the ground working to get everything under control.
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