GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – US President Barack Obama is expected to visit the western state of Colorado Friday 29 June as wild fires continue to rage for a fifth day, and threaten the state’s second largest city, Colorado Springs.
The massive blaze, known as the Waldo Canyon fire, has forced the evacuation of some 36,000 residents around the city of 419,000 inhabitants and destroyed and some 74,000 hectares destroyed. Approximately 800 firefighters have been deployed as further evacuation orders are being issued.
Dry weather, together with prolonged high temperatures of over 37 degrees Celsius and strong winds have fueled the wildfire, making it difficult to control. Officials in Colorado Wednesday 27 June said fire crews were able to contain only 5 percent of the fire.
Fires are currently blazing in six other western US states: Wyoming, Montana, New Mexico, Arizona, California and Utah.