Residents of Boulder County in Colorado have returned to scenes of devastation after snowfall helped extinguish the last of a raging wildfire.

The fire swept through 6,000 acres in just a few hours, destroying hundreds of homes. Tens of thousands of people fled as the flames engulfed the area.

The fire at its peak was driven by winds of up to 169 kilometers per hour which caused flames to jump over highways and entire communities, local authorities told news agencies.

Climate change increases the risk of the hot, dry weather that is likely to fuel wildfires and experts say that fires in western North America have grown more intense in recent years.

As the snowfall has started, officials say they do not expect the fire to pose any more danger. People have started returning home to assess the damage, many facing scenes of complete destruction.

These latest fires in Colorado are burning in more suburban parts of the state and are coming relatively late in the season.


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