FEMA, Forest Service ramp up efforts to fight Colo. wildfires

On Saturday, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved additional funds to help combat wildfires in the neighboring states of Utah and Wyoming, a move announced in a statement from the Department of Agriculture.

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Additionally, the Forest Service mobilized its remaining fleet of 4 C-130 aircraft with firefighting systems to aid rescue workers battling the blaze.

The statement said the Forest Service has already run "70 sorties, 61 air drops and dropped 160,011 gallons of retardant" in hopes of containing the Waldo Canyon fire in Pike National Forest near Colorado Springs.

Obama declared a "major disaster" in Colorado yesterday, ahead of his visit to Colorado Springs to view the destruction left after a week of wildfires which have destroyed over 350 homes and left 2 dead. Over 30,000 are estimated to have been evacuated as firefighters struggle to bring the flames under control.

In his weekly address on Saturday, Obama praised the rescue workers battling the fires and pledged that the federal government would continue to direct resources to state and local governments to aid in the recovery.

"We've got to make sure that we are there with them every step of the way, even after this fire is put out,” Obama said.