30 Jun 2012

President visits Colorado wildfire scene

12:00 pm on 30 June 2012

United States President Barack Obama has visited neighbourhoods in Colorado where wildfires have forced thousands of people from their homes.

A disaster declaration was issued on Friday, allowing federal funds to be used to combat the blaze.

Mr Obama was met in Colorado Springs by Mayor Steve Bach, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and Senator Mark Udall.

The Waldo Canyon fire has destroyed 346 houses and the Forest Service has warned that it could take weeks to get the fires under control.

About 32,000 people were forced to leave their homes in Colorado Springs on Tuesday. More than 20,000 homes are still threatened by the blaze.

One person has been declared dead after human remains were found in a burned home. A second body has since been found in the house.

The BBC reports wildfires are also sweeping parts of Montana, Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona and California.