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Obama to visit Colorado to view wildfire damage

June 27, 2012|By Michael A. Memoli
  • A helicopter flies over scorched foothills to drop water on the Waldo Canyon fire near in Colorado Springs, Colo.
A helicopter flies over scorched foothills to drop water on the Waldo Canyon… (Chris Schneider / Getty…)

WASHINGTON -- President Obama will travel Friday to areas of Colorado devastated by wildfires, the White House announced Wednesday afternoon.

The president has spoken with Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and the mayor of Colorado Springs to get the latest developments and express his concern about the extent of the damage, the White House said in a statement.

During his visit, he will "view the damage and thank the responders bravely battling the fire," according to the statement.

PHOTOS: U.S. wildfires 2012

In his calls with local officials, the White House said, Obama restated that federal agencies will "bring all resources to bear to assist local responders" in Colorado and other states affected by the fires.

Earlier Wednesday, a White House spokesman noted that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has deployed an team to Colorado's emergency operations center to monitor and support firefighting efforts.

Obama last spoke with Hickenlooper, a fellow Democrat, about the wildfires on June 12.

Through Wednesday, fire officials have ordered at least 32,000 people to flee their homes, and more than 15,000 acres of land had been consumed by the Waldo Canyon fire around Colorado Springs, which is only 5% contained.

michael.memoli@latimes.com

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