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Photos: Wildfires engulf 1,000 homes in suburban Denver

Dec. 30: Broomfield, Co. — Homes burn as a wildfire rips through a development near Rock Creek Village.
David Zalubowski
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AP
Dec. 30: Broomfield, Co. — Homes burn as a wildfire rips through a development near Rock Creek Village.

A 6,000-acre wildfire system has burned approximately 1,000 homes in a suburban area near Denver, Colorado state officials estimate.

Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated ahead of the New Year's holiday.

The fire system, which officials suspect was caused by downed power lines, has yet to be contained.

No deaths have been reported and at least seven people, including a first responder, have been injured. Those numbers may increase as the fires continue to burn.

Dec. 30: Superior, Colo. — Smoke fills the air as a wind-driven wildfire forced evacuations.
Trevor Hughes / USA Today Network/Reuters
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USA Today Network/Reuters
Dec. 30: Louisville, Colo. — A home burns after a fast moving wildfire swept through the area in the Centennial Heights neighborhood.
Marc Piscotty / Getty Images
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Getty Images
Dec. 30: Louisville, Colo. — A home burns after a fast moving wildfire swept through the area in the Centennial Heights neighborhood.

It is unusual for major wildfires to happen at this time of year in Colorado. This week's fires follow an abnormally dry fall and winter in the state.

Climate change has created warmer and drier conditions across the Mountain West region, leading to increased drought and a longer, more extreme wildfire season.

Dec. 30: Louisville, Colo. — A car makes its way down smoky, yellow skies along McCaslin Boulevard.
Helen H. Richardson / Denver Post/Getty Images
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Denver Post/Getty Images
Dec. 30: Louisville, Colo. — A car makes its way down smoky, yellow skies along McCaslin Boulevard.
Dec. 31: Louisville, Colo. — Fire crews work to put out flames at a home burned in the Marshall Fire in Boulder County.
RJ Sangosti / Denver Post via Getty Images
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Denver Post via Getty Images
Dec. 31: Louisville, Colo. — Fire crews work to put out flames at a home burned in the Marshall Fire in Boulder County.

At a news conference Friday afternoon updating the public on the state of the fire, Gov. Jared Polis read aloud from a text message he says he received from a friend.

"We may not have homes tomorrow, but we have each other," Polis read. "A house is made of sticks and stones. A home is made of love alone."

Dec. 30: Broomfield, Co. —  The Marshall Fire continues to burn out of control.
RJ Sangosti / Denver Post/Getty Images
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Denver Post/Getty Images
Dec. 30: Broomfield, Colo. — The Marshall Fire continues to burn out of control.
Dec, 31: Superior, Co. — Debris surrounds the remains of homes burned by wildfires after they ripped through a development.
David Zalubowski / AP
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AP
Dec, 31: Superior, Colo. — Debris surrounds the remains of homes burned by wildfires after they ripped through a development.
Dec. 30: Louisville, Co. —  Fires continue to burn into the evening in neighborhoods.
Helen H. Richardson / Denver Post/Getty Images
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Denver Post/Getty Images
Dec. 30: Louisville, Colo. — Fires continue to burn into the evening in neighborhoods.
Dec. 30: Louisville, Co. — Police officer holds her head at the corner of 96th St. and West Dillon Rd. in the strong wind.
Hyoung Chang / Denver Post via Getty Images
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Denver Post via Getty Images
Dec. 30: Louisville, Colo. — A police officer holds her head at the corner of 96th Street and West Dillon Road in the strong wind.
Dec. 30: Broomfield, Co. — Homes burn as a wildfire rips through a development near Rock Creek Village.
David Zalubowski / AP
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AP
Dec. 30: Broomfield, Colo. — Homes burn as a wildfire rips through a development near Rock Creek Village.

The fire spread quickly across suburban Denver, propelled by fast winds with gusts as high as 105 mph.

Snow is expected in the area this afternoon and officials say they do not believe that the fire will spread further.

Dec. 30: Louisville, Co. — Two homes burn after being consumed by wildfire.
Marc Piscotty / Getty Images
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Getty Images
Dec. 30: Louisville, Colo. — Two homes burn after being consumed by wildfire.
Dec. 31: Louisville, Co. —  A good samaritan tosses buckets of water on a home that was burnt in the Marshall Fire in Boulder County/
RJ Sangosti / Denver Post/Getty Images
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Denver Post/Getty Images
Dec. 31: Louisville, Colo. — A good Samaritan tosses buckets of water on a home that was burned in the Marshall Fire in Boulder County.
Dec. 30: Superior, Co. --Flames engulf homes as the Marshall Fire spreads through a neighborhood.
Jason Connolly / AFP via Getty Images
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AFP via Getty Images
Dec. 30: Superior, Colo. — Flames engulf homes as the Marshall Fire spreads through a neighborhood.
Dec. 30: Louisville, Co. — An Arvada firefighter walks back to the firetruck as a fast moving wildfire swept through the area in the Centennial Heights neighborhood.
Marc Piscotty / Getty Images
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Getty Images
Dec. 30: Louisville, Colo. — An Arvada firefighter walks back to a firetruck as a fast-moving wildfire sweeps through the area in the Centennial Heights neighborhood.

Colorado Public Radio has gathered a list of resources and evacuation information for those impacted by the fires.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Eric McDaniel
Eric McDaniel edits the NPR Politics Podcast. He joined the program ahead of its 2019 relaunch as a daily podcast.
Nicole Werbeck