Whole communities have been left devastated
The fires that swept through Colorado on Thursday left tens of thousands of people displaced with no idea whether their homes were still standing.
Officials have called the inferno the most devastating fire in state history, met 6,000 acres burned and between 600 en 1,000 homes destroyed.
Authorities on Friday pleaded with the public to refrain from attempts to return to their neighbourhoods until they were deemed safe, as pockets of fire remain.
A hotel and shopping centre were among the structures lost, but two local hospitals were saved.
Several brande broke out on Thursday, believed to have been sparked by downed power lines and all fuelled by unusually dry conditions and high winds, which were gusting up to 105 mph (169 kph).
Colorado was one of the states hit by an unprecedented drought over the summer, and the Boulder area has received nowhere near its usual rainfall and snow, leading to tinder dry conditions allowing the fire to burn out of control.
The town of Louisville’s 21,000 residents were all ordered to evacuate, as were the 12,000 people living in nearby Superior.
Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle held a joint press conference Friday with Colorado Governor Jared Polis, who said the devastation had unfolded in “the blink of an eye”.
Here are some of the most striking images captured on Thursday.