A sign thanks firefighters near the site of the Waldo Canyon fire on Thursday in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.
UPDATE: Obama toured the damage from the most destructive wildfire in Colorado history Friday, and called the site of damaged and destroyed homes in Colorado Springs "heartbreaking," MSNBC reports.
The president commended the work of those working to contain the fire and keep residents safe, adding, "When natural disasters like this hit, America comes together," CNN reports.
Friday, June 9, 9:32 a.m.: President Obama headed to Colorado Springs, Colo., on Friday to survey the damage from a wildfire that has destroyed an estimated 346 homes and left at least one person dead.
The president has declared Colorado a disaster area, allowing the use of federal aid, the Associated Press reports.
The Waldo Canyon Fire, one of several burning in Colorado and across the interior western U.S., is the most destructive wildfire in Colorado to date. According to CNN, it's burned more than 16,700 acres so far and was 15 percent contained as of Thursday. That sounds low, but it's actually an indicator that firefighters are making progress containing the blaze, in part due to more favorable weather conditions.
More than 30,000 people were evacuated from their homes Tuesday night as high winds propelled the fire across containment lines and into the city of Colorado Springs. Some of those evacuees were allowed to return home Thursday evening, the AP explains. At least 20,000 homes and 160 businesses are still threatened by the fire.
Meanwhile, the High Park Fire in northern Colorado is now 75 percent contained. That fire killed one and destroyed 257 homes, making it the most destructive fire in state history until the Waldo Canyon Fire exploded on Tuesday.