Authorities in Colorado are urging residents to abide by the evacuation orders as the state continues to live under a raging wildfire that reduced nearly 126,000 acres to ashes by Thursday morning.
Firefighters were battling the flames on Wednesday night but their efforts were eventually not enough to contain the East Troublesome Fire that spread from 19,000 acres to 125,602 acres in a matter of hours.
The situation seemed out of control late Wednesday with hundreds of Coloradoans ordered to evacuate in Grand Lake and the large area surrounding the Rocky Mountain National Park.
“We never, ever expected 6,000 acres per hour to come upon our community,” Sheriff Brett Schroetlin said on Facebook.
“Daylight’s gonna tell us a lot,” he said at about 1 a.m. Thursday.
But what the daylight revealed wasn’t promising: Only 5 percent of the wildfire was contained with continuing high and dry winds, fueling the blaze.
“Unfortunately, today is another fire day,” authorities said on Facebook. “We anticipate another day of large fire growth. It’s going to be a long day…we’re not out of the woods.”
The East Troublesome Fire is currently ranked as the fourth largest in Colorado’s history, with the first and second worst wildfires being from 2020.