(AP) – Making slow but steady progress against a Colorado wildfire that has killed at least two people, authorities hoped for continued favorable weather and asked for patience from thousands of evacuees who fled encroaching flames that destroyed nearly 350 homes.
From above, the destruction wrought by a raging Colorado wildfire becomes painfully clear: Rows and rows of homes _ hundreds in all _ reduced to smoldering ashes.
President Barack Obama toured the stricken areas Friday after issuing a disaster declaration for Colorado and thanked firefighters and other emergency workers, saying: “The country is grateful for your work. The country’s got your back.”
Among the fires elsewhere in the West:
_ At least 60 homes near Pocatello, Idaho, burned in a fast-moving wildfire that started Thursday evening. The blaze covered more than 1 1/2 square miles. Officials said it was human-caused but gave no details.
_ A 70-square-mile wildfire in Utah destroyed at least 160 structures, more than 50 of them primary homes. Another blaze in Utah doubled in size to 70 square miles and was threatening about 75 structures. And a wildfire that erupted Friday in a foothills community near Salt Lake City destroyed at least two homes and was threatening 200 others.
Here is a gallery of photos from the wildfires.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)