US supermajor Chevron has committed $250,000 to support relief efforts in Colorado communities affected by wildfires that swept through an area north of Denver and forced tens of thousands of residents to evacuate.

Nearly 1,000 homes were destroyed in a fire over the New Year weekend that came late in the season and was accelerated by unusually dry winter conditions and high winds.

Residents returned to view destroyed neighbourhoods in single-digit temperatures and with snow on the ground.