Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue provided these images, shot by Chief Jeff Berino, for republication by Denverite. He’s one of about 300 firefighters who have descended on the wildfire north of Nederland, which was spotted on Saturday and has grown steadily through today, July 11.
The fire has chewed already through hundreds of acres. It has left behind blackened forests, and emergency responders say they haven’t yet contained its spread.
Two dozen aircraft are on scene, laying lines of fire-retardant chemicals, but high winds are helping the fire to jump across those defenses.
The blaze has left behind a burnt-out moonscape. Nearly 2,000 people have been evacuated, and the authorities have tried to rescue pets and livestock too.
A fire this large is relatively uncommon, but professionals and volunteer firefighters from all over the state have the training to fight it. For many mountain towns, fire departments are a vital safeguard and a central element of the community.