Obama to visit fire-ravaged Colorado

Obama called Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) and Colorado Springs mayor Steve Bach (R) on Wednesday to “express his concern” over the damage and pledged “to bring all resources to bear to assist local responders,” according to a release from the White House press office.

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“Seventeen air tankers have cycled in and out of firefighting action over the last 48 hours across the western states,” according to the release. “More than 8,400 personnel, 578 fire engines and 79 helicopters are operating on wildfires around the U.S., with more than half of active federal wildfire-fighting resources are currently staged in Colorado.”

More than 32,000 people have had to evacuate their homes due to the Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado Springs, about an hour south of Denver. The fire doubled in size overnight, now covering more than 15,000 acres, and is only 5 percent contained.

Plus-100 degree heat, dry conditions and wind gusts of over 65 miles an hour have made the blaze more difficult to combat.