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Colorado authorities ordered the evacuation of more than 8,000 homes and 7,000 buildings, affecting more than 19,000 people in Boulder as a rolling wildfire threatened the area, officials said.
The wildfire was strengthened by wind earlier in the day and was out of control after growing to 122 acres, Boulder Fire-Rescue spokesperson Marya Washburn said.
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While the boisterous weather has since subsided, authorities believe they will battle the blaze for several more days, said Boulder Fire-Rescue Wildland Division Chief Brian Oliver.
The fire is spreading near the same area where a 2021 blaze destroyed more than 1,000 homes.
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The new blaze grew to a sizable threat around 2 p.m. Saturday, when it spread to protected wildland near the National Center for Atmospheric Research, police said. As a result, authorities have called it the NCAR fire.
There is no yet known cause for the fire.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.