Investigators located the ignition point of the devastating Boulder County, Colorado, wildfire that engulfed more than 1,000 buildings in drought-parched grasslands at the base of the Rocky Mountains, and the governor of the state underscored heightened risks posed by climate change.

“It’s really obvious where that fire started and what direction it went,” Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said at a news conference Sunday. The location is near the intersection of a state highway where a wooden shed was photographed ablaze Thursday, Pelle said, noting his office executed a search warrant but “it is an open and active investigation.”

The 6,215-acre wind-whipped blaze destroyed 991 buildings, damaged more than 100 others and left two people missing and presumed dead. A third person reported missing was located alive, Pelle said. Investigators initially suspected downed power lines caused the blaze, however, Xcel Energy Inc. – the electric provider in the area – found no evidence.

Burned-out residents face a long haul toward rebuilding given “shortages of supplies and labor,” Governor Jared Polis said. Deanne Criswell, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, toured the fire zone Sunday, anticipating “a long road to recovery.”

Boulder County’s disaster is the latest triggered by extreme weather as climate change and a La Nina weather pattern leave much of the West in drought. “This was a horrific convergence of two things,” Polis said. “We had an unusually dry and warm winter” and “historic wind gusts.”

Relief arrived in the aftermath of the inferno in the form of a foot of snow, which aided firefighters.

“We know that with the climate we face higher risks,” the governor said. “It’s a challenging issue across the American West.”

The wildfire mitigation plan for the area, 30 miles northwest of Denver, hadn’t been updated since 2010, predating a 17% increase in the local population, the Denver Gazette reported Sunday. The communities of Louisville and Superior suffered the greatest losses and Louisville police deployed cadaver dogs as a precaution although there were no reports of missing people in the burned out city.

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