169 houses destroyed in Colorado wildfire

Authorities say that a wildfire burning in the foothills near Boulder has destroyed at least 169 houses.

A home destroyed by a wildfire is shown in an aerial photo over Boulder

A home destroyed by a wildfire is shown in an aerial photo over Boulder

BOULDER, Colo. — Authorities say that a wildfire burning in the foothills near Boulder has destroyed at least 169 houses.

Sheriff’s Cmdr. Rick Brough said Thursday that the latest damage toll is based on a survey of 80 per cent of the nearly 10 square miles (25 sq. kilometres) that were burned.

Firefighters say they have contained 30 per cent of the fire line, but they warn that flying sparks kicked up by forecast high winds could change that.

Hundreds of evacuated residents are being allowed back to their homes to pick up pets and items left behind, but authorities say they need to leave immediately because of the weather forecast.

Some people have refused to evacuate. Nine people had been reported missing but Brough says all of them have now been accounted for.