COLORADO, USA — With two of the largest wildfires in state history actively burning and forcing thousands of people to evacuate, Gov. Jared Polis (D-Colorado) met with officials and evacuees on Friday, as well as provided an update on the state's response.
“I think it’s important to know that in these times we really show that Colorado spirit," Polis said.
During his news conference, which was in a burn zone in Boulder County, Polis discussed the efforts being taken to ensure social distancing amid wildfire evacuations. Part of this involves hotel rooms instead of large sites.
“This is being done in a much safer way, minimalizing the need for people to be living together with beds," Polis said.
Polis started Friday by meeting with evacuees at a hotel in Winter Park.
Later, Polis met with a team discussing air support for wildfires. Several of the fires burning in Colorado have experienced periods of exponential growth due to extremely strong winds and drought conditions.
The most recent was the East Troublesome Fire, which sat at about 24,000 acres Wednesday, and as of Friday morning had topped 170,000 acres.
Oftentimes, with the strong winds, planes and helicopters are grounded.
After discussing the aerial attack of fires, Polis went to Loveland and met with incident command team members to be briefed about the current conditions and response to the Cameron Peak and East Troublesome Fires.
The Cameron Peak Fire, which has been burning in Larimer County since mid-August, has burned more than 200,000 acres and is the largest fire in Colorado history. The East Troublesome Fire, which was first reported on Oct. 14, is the second-largest fire in state history.
Only about 10-12 miles separate the fire perimeters in at least one area, and officials expressed concern Thursday about the possibility of the fires merging.
The Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center said Thursday that it's coordinating resources for seven different wildfires that are currently burning in the state.
Complete wildfire coverage: https://9news.com/wildfires.
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