Animals Left Without Homes After Wildfires Blaze Through Colorado

Wildfires in Boulder County, Colorado destroyed more than 500 homes and several businesses by the final days of 2021 leaving many people and animals homeless.

Sparked by downed power lines and whipped into a frenzy by by 105-mph winds, these fires are the most destructive in Colorado’s history, 9News reports.

Hundreds of homes were destroyed by fire in Boulder County, Colorado.

Source: Facebook / Alyssa Valdez
Hundreds of homes were destroyed by fire in Boulder County, Colorado.

The fires have impacted at least 1,600 acres of mostly-urban areas of Boulder County the Coloradoan reports. Residents of Louisville and Superior have been ordered to evacuate, along with people from parts of Broomfield and the Rocky Flats area.

35,000 Coloradoans have been evacuated from their homes.

Source: Facebook / Alyssa Valdez
35,000 Coloradoans have been evacuated from their homes.

About 35,000 residents were evacuated from their homes due to the fires, according to the Community Foundation of Boulder County.

Tragically, many animals have been left behind in the shuffle.

A cat rescued from the wildfire.

Source: Facebook / Shelby Romero
A cat rescued from the wildfire.

As the Boulder County Fairgrounds are full, officials recommend taking pets and livestock in need of shelter to the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, 15200 W. Sixth Ave. Frontage Road in Golden or The Ranch Events Complex, 5280 Arena Circle, Suite 100 in Loveland.

Members of the Facebook Group, Boulder County Fire Lost & Found Pets are also helping animals in need.

“For those escaping the fire or have friends in the evacuations zone,” posted one member. “I’m in Bennett, I have 2 dog runs that I can keep your chickens or other animals in on our property in the kennels. We aren’t limited to just helping chickens and small animals we can care for goats, cows, sheep, horses too. Let me know how Nick and I can help. I will let everyone know when I’m full
🙏🏻 Prayers for everyone’s safety.🙏🏻”

Facebook groups are helping people locate missing animals.

Source: Facebook / Tonette Romero
Facebook groups are helping people locate missing animals.

Another member held several dogs she found during the fires, posting pictures of them to the group.

“Gracie- 5 year old female border collie golden mix
Phil – 2 year old male English bulldog
Hazel – 5 year old female Chihuahua yorkie mix
Lost near 1109 Hillside ln Louisville
Please call/text with any information!” she posted, along with pictures of the dogs.

A horse found running wild during the wildfires.

Source: Facebook / Kay Kocher
A horse found running wild during the wildfires.

“I have a clinic full of veterinary technicians that want to help, where can we go? Who can we help?!” asked another member of the group.

A dog found during the wildfires.

Source: Facebook / Constance Crowell
A dog found during the wildfires.

Another member volunteered the use of his drone search team to assist in finding and rescuing animals.

A separate group was set up to assist with sheltering horses during the fires.

For as many missing pets are being posted to the groups, there are even more posts of compassionate Coloradoans offering help and taking in animals in desperate need.

Animals and livestock are being cared for at local fairgrounds.

Source: Facebook / Constance Crowell
Animals and livestock are being cared for at local fairgrounds.

Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said some towns were “just smoking holes in the ground.”

“It’s unbelievable when you look at the devastation that we don’t have a list of 100 missing persons,” the sheriff said.

As the Seattle Times reports, seven people have been injured as a result of the fires, while there have yet been no reports of any deaths or missing people.

“We might have our very own New Year’s miracle on our hands if it holds up that there was no loss of life,” Gov. Jared Polis said.

Despite the devastation, there have been no reported deaths as a result of the wildfires.

Source: Facebook / Alyssa Valdez
Despite the devastation, there have been no reported deaths as a result of the wildfires.

Light snow dampened smoldering fires on New Year’s Eve and emergency crews began to respond to downed power lines, though it may be days if not weeks before residents are given the signal to return home.

“The devastation in Boulder County tonight is utterly heartbreaking. We are in close contact with (Gov. Jared Polis) and working to secure Federal recovery resources,” Rep. Joe Neguse, who represents Fort Collins and Boulder County, posted to Twitter. “Please keep everyone in our community in your thoughts, and pray for the firefighters sacrificing so much to keep us safe.”

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Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.
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