Photos: Wildfires engulf 1,000 homes in suburban Denver

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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

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