LOS ANGELES – Governor Jared Polis of the US State of Colorado declared a state of emergency on Thursday due to fast-moving grass fires created by high winds in one county as thousands of residents were ordered to evacuate.

The declaration allows the state to access disaster emergency funds to support the emergency response efforts in Boulder County and provide state resources including the use of the Colorado National Guard, Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control and activation of the State Emergency Operations Center, said the governor in a statement.

Authorities said the Boulder Emergency Operations Center has been activated to respond to multiple wildland fires in the county.

The City of Louisville, home to around 19,000 residents, has been placed under mandatory evacuation order and three evacuation centers are open to people impacted by the fires, according to the Boulder Emergency Operations Center.