A rare set of wildfires caused by fierce winds ripped through suburban neighborhoods in Colorado this week, burning hundreds of homes and leaving thousands of people stranded, according to NBC News.

  • The wildfires — which have torn through 1,600 acres in only a few hours with 100 mph winds — have been devastating several Colorado communities.
  • Close to 30,000 people were displaced from two communities, per CNN.
  • In one community, close to 370 homes were destroyed, according to CNN. In another, close to 210 homes were likely lost to the flames.

Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle told NBC News that topped powerlines started a grass fire south of Boulder, which then spread through towns of Louisville and Superior.

  • “This was consuming football field lengths of land in seconds,” Pelle said. “This was a horrific event.”

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis issued a state of emergency Thursday in response to the high winds.

  • This will allow the state to use emergency disaster funds to support response efforts in Boulder, according to CBS Denver.

Andy Thorn, a resident of Boulder Heights, Colorado, told CNN that he has worried about wildfires because of the fast winds. Now his worry has become a reality.

  • “One minute, there was nothing. Then, plumes of smoke appeared. Then, flames,” he told CNN. “Then, the flames jumped around and multiplied. Now, we’re just thinking about everyone who lost their home and all the firefighters and first responders who do so much for all of us in times like this.”