LOS ANGELES (AFP) – One person has been found and two are still feared dead following a devastating Colorado wildfire that wiped out swaths of several towns and forced thousands of people to flee with little notice, officials said on Sunday.
Of three reported missing “one of those persons has been accounted for alive and well”, Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle told journalists, adding that a search was ongoing for the remaining two.
Hot debris that has been covered by snow has however hampered recovery efforts, he said.
The so-called Marshall Fire, which was sparked in a tinder-dry landscape, was fanned by winds gusting at more than 160 kilometers an hour on Thursday.
As the blaze raced through the towns of Superior and Louisville, just outside the state’s biggest city Denver, tens of thousands of people were forced to flee with little notice.
Shocking aerial footage showed whole streets as little more than piles of smoking ash, destruction that appeared almost total but somehow left a few homes oddly untouched.
The cause of the blaze is still under investigation, with a search warrant in one location announced on Saturday.
“There’s no news yet on the ongoing investigation into the source of the fire,” Colorado Governor Jared Polis told CNN on Sunday. “It’s being done professionally in conjunction with the FBI, with forensic expertise around it.”