President Barack Obama toured the Mountain Shadow neighborhood devastated by the Waldo Canyon Fire to see the destruction firsthand last week.
President Obama, who declared that the wildfires are a "major disaster," took an Air Force One flyover of the wildfires in Colorado and pledged federal aid to the state. The President then toured the Mountain Shadow neighborhood on foot and greeted the firefighters and other first responders, saying: "The country is grateful for your work. The country's got your back."
According to The Associated Press, President Obama also stopped at a shelter set up at a local YMCA where he was greeted with cheers. He told the shelter volunteers, "You guys are making us proud."
The Waldo Canyon Fire burning since June 23rd is already the most destructive wildfire in state history. The fire forced the evacuation of at least 32,000 residents, has consumed 17,827 acres, engulfed nearly 350 homes and killed at least two people. As of Monday, the fire is 55 percent contained.
Days of record heat produced a surge of new fires burning throughout Colorado and also provided fuel and devastating growth conditions for the fires already burning. As many as ten major fires were burning around the state last week, all part of the worst wildfire season in a decade.