Colorado wildfires: Obama to tour ravaged areas on Friday (VIDEO)


The Waldo Canyon fire burns in Colorado Springs, Colo., on June 27, 2012. The fire has destroyed numerous homes as it expanded to 15,000 acres. More than 32,000 people have been evacuated.


Chris Schneider

President Barack Obama will visit Colorado on Friday to tour the devastation caused by a 15,375-acre wildfire that has forced more than 32,000 people from their homes and destroyed an unknown number of structures near Colorado Springs.

Obama spoke with Gov. John Hickenlooper and Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach via phone Wednesday for an update on fires burning throughout the state, the White House said in a statement.

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The president reiterated his administration's focus, through the US Forest Service as well as the Department of Interior and FEMA, on continuing "to bring all resources to bear to assist local responders in Colorado" and other Western states also dealing with wildfires, according to the Denver Post.

Wildfires are also burning in Alaska, Arizona, California, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

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But the Waldo Canyon fire on the edge of Colorado Springs is drawing the most attention -- and resources.

The blaze doubled in size overnight and is now threatening the US Air Force Academy, prompting evacuations there, Reuters reported.

Hickenlooper told CNN officials still did not know what started the fire, although it may be human-caused.