DENVER — A once-thriving Colorado neighborhood of homes and healthy trees has been reduced to a barren expanse of ash and debris. Across the state, a river prized for its trout, rapids and pristine water instead flows as an oily, black brew every time rain falls on nearby slopes charred by wildfire.

In New Mexico, the Santa Clara Pueblo is seeking volunteers to fill sandbags for fear the American Indian village of 3,100 will be washed away by runoff from mountainsides left denuded by a blaze last year.

Wildfires across the West are burning homes, businesses, bridges and other infrastructure necessary for everyday life – and the disaster isn't over when the wildfire is snuffed out and the firefighters go home.

Erosion from seared hillsides buries roads in mud and pollutes rivers that supply tap water. The point was driven home earlier this week when a mudslide following heavy rain in Colorado's Waldo Canyon burn area temporarily closed U.S. 24 near Manitou Springs.

Electricity, water and gas lines have to be repaired and recharged. Debris from burned-out homes has to be hauled away and new houses must be built. Even if the work starts while the fire is still burning, experts say recovery can take years and untold millions of dollars simply to make conditions livable again.

Lisa Maser, whose northern Colorado home survived a blaze that destroyed 259 homes and charred more than 136 square miles, now thinks of her life in two periods: before and after the High Park Fire.

"It's very eerie," Maser said of the charred hillsides in her rural neighborhood west of Fort Collins, where the blaze left a layer of fine, sandy black ash, and where flood waters could strand them in the event of a heavy rainstorm. "It's amazing that it got so close."

In Colorado alone, insurers estimate that wildfires have caused some $450 million in damage to personal property, and that number is expected to grow.

Nationally, the U.S. Forest Service is on track for another possible record with nearly $28 million spent so far on burned-area recovery work. The agency spent a record $48 million last year.

Harris Sherman, the USDA undersecretary who oversees the agency and the Natural Resources Conservation Service, said the federal government tries to get into burned areas as quickly as possible to predict what some of the fallout might be.

"There are not only immediate effects. There are long-term implications to this," Sherman said. "We all need to be aware of the fact that the landscape doesn't restore overnight. It can take years, if not decades."

The number of fires and total acreage burned in the West this summer is roughly within range of the past decade's average. But the fires are bigger, they're burning with greater severity, and they are burning areas where the potential impacts are greater.

The blazes have charred forests and private land near suburban communities, rather than remote wilderness, raising the price tag for a recovery that challenges everyone from homeowners and anglers to forest managers and water plant operators.

In addition to Colorado and New Mexico, burned-area response specialists are working in Arizona, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming to finalize contracts for seeding and mulching, stabilize roads and trails, prep culverts for higher flows of water and put up warning signs.

Charred hillsides are vulnerable to erosion during downpours because they have less vegetation to soak up rain, increasing the likelihood of flooding.

Earlier this month, a wall of water rushed down New Mexico's Santa Clara Canyon, washing away months of restoration work done by Santa Clara Pueblo and government contractors. The tribal community had volunteers come from around the state to help fill thousands of sandbags in the wake of last year's massive Las Conchas Fire, and they're in need of the same help this year.

Pueblo Gov. Walter Dasheno has said he fears the next rainstorm could result in a wall of water bearing down on his village.

"In less than 10 days, the rains have wiped out even more trees, brought down more boulders and destroyed some out structures," he said.

National forests and grasslands provide about 20 percent of the nation's water supply, according to the Forest Service, and the cost of treating drinking water increases by about 20 percent for every loss of 10 percent of forest land in a watershed.

Following wildfires in 1996 and 2002, the water utility in Denver spent more than $26 million on restoration, maintenance and dredging, planting more than a quarter of a million trees, building sediment control structures and installing bigger drainage pipes.

The work reinforced the utility's belief in the importance of forest management, Denver Water media coordinator Travis Thompson said.

In 2010, Denver Water entered into a partnership with the Forest Service, called "From Forests to Faucets," to improve forest and watershed conditions. Under the partnership, Denver Water will match the federal government's $16.5 million investment toward restoration projects in priority watersheds critical to Denver's water supply.

An estimated 30,000 cubic yards of debris are expected to be hauled out of one neighborhood near Colorado Springs, where the Waldo Canyon Fire destroyed more than 340 homes and killed a husband and wife.

But the rebuilding process has already begun: Earlier this week, city officials issued the first permit for a homeowner to rebuild, just 14 days after the fire was declared contained.

Joseph Boyd, whose two-story, four-bedroom home at the end of a cul-de-sac burned on June 26, said he looked at other homes but found nothing that appealed to him and his wife. They've since picked out a new, more energy-efficient plan and aim to restore the landscape.

At least eight of the 14 houses on his street intend to return and rebuild, he said.

"I have one neighbor that will not come back. It was pretty traumatizing for them," he said. "I don't blame them, but it's a memory that will fade. You have to move forward, either direction you choose."

___

Montoya Brian reported from Albuquerque, N.M. Associated Press writer Shannon Dininny contributed to this story from Yakima, Wash.

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  • A message is displayed on a driveway near the remains of a home in the Mountain Shadows neighborhood of Colorado Springs, Colo., Thursday, July 5, 2012. The neighborhood was ravaged by the Waldo Canyon fire, which has burned about 28 square miles and has damaged or destroyed almost 350 homes since it started June 23. (AP Photo/The Colorado Springs Gazette, Jerilee Bennett)

  • A firefighter stands in rubble in the Mo

    A firefighter stands in rubble in the Mountain Shadow neighborhood, which was burned by wildfires about 72 hours ago, on June 29, 2012 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. US President Barack Obama, who declared a major disaster in Colorado and offered federal assistance, is in the Colorado Springs area to survey wildfire damage and efforts to contain the natural disaster. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Iris Johnson and her son Adrian Johnson dig through to salvage items from the remains of their home in the Mountain Shadows neighborhood of Colorado Springs, Colo., Thursday, July 5, 2012. Their home was destroyed in the Waldo Canyon fire, which has burned about 28 square miles and has damaged or destroyed almost 350 homes since it started June 23. (AP Photo/The Colorado Springs Gazette, Jerilee Bennett)

  • Mikes Estes looks over the remains of his home as his insurance agent, Tina Rieger, works on a report in the Mountain Shadows neighborhood of Colorado Springs, Colo., Thursday, July 5, 2012. The house was destroyed in the Waldo Canyon fire, which has burned about 28 square miles and has damaged or destroyed almost 350 homes since it started June 23. (AP Photo/The Colorado Springs Gazette, Jerilee Bennett)

  • Kate Stefani tries to salvage anything she can from her home in the Mountain Shadows neighborhood of Colorado Springs, Colo., Thursday, July 5, 2012. Stefani's home was destroyed in the Waldo Canyon fire, which has burned about 28 square miles and has damaged or destroyed almost 350 homes since it started June 23. (AP Photo/The Colorado Springs Gazette, Jerilee Bennett)

  • Dr. Ted Stefani digs through to salvage items from the remains of his home in the Mountain Shadows neighborhood of Colorado Springs, Colo., Thursday, July 5, 2012. The house was destroyed in the Waldo Canyon fire, which has burned about 28 square miles and has damaged or destroyed almost 350 homes since it started June 23. (AP Photo/The Colorado Springs Gazette, Jerilee Bennett)

  • Anthony Cano a firefighter with Wildland Defense Systems Inc., demonstrates how they applied a fire retardant gel that prevents flying embers from igniting on the Waldo Canyon wildfire west of Colorado Springs, Colo., Friday, June 29, 2012. Wildland Defense Systems Inc., is a private company that provides firefighters for insurance company Chubb Personal Insurance, one of a handful of insurance companies that send in firefighters during wildfires to protect homes as part of high-end insurance policies. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Western Wildfires

    Homes are left in ruins after being destroyed by the Waldo Canyon Fire in the Mountain Shadows neighborhood of Colorado Springs, Colo., on Monday, July 2, 2012. The 28-square-mile wildfire, which has killed two people and destroyed nearly 350 homes, was 70 percent contained on Monday. (AP Photo/Bryan Oller)

  • A utilities worker walks through homes destroyed by the Waldo Canyon Fire in the Mountain Shadows neighborhood of Colorado Springs, Colo., on Monday, July 2, 2012. So far, the blaze, now 45 percent contained, has damaged or destroyed nearly 350 homes. (AP Photo/Bryan Oller)

  • A United States flag is planted near one of the homes destroyed by the Waldo Canyon Fire in the Mountain Shadows neighborhood of Colorado Springs, Colo., on Monday, July 2, 2012. So far, the blaze, now 45 percent contained, has damaged or destroyed nearly 350 homes. (AP Photo/Bryan Oller)

  • A scorched truck sits in the remains of a home destroyed by the Waldo Canyon Fire in the Mountain Shadows neighborhood in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Monday, July 2, 2012. The 28-square-mile wildfire, which has killed two people and destroyed nearly 350 homes, was 70 percent contained on Monday. (AP Photo/Bryan Oller)

  • A heart is made of bricks from a home destroyed by the Waldo Canyon Fire in the Mountain Shadows neighborhood of Colorado Springs, Colo., on Monday, July 2, 2012. So far, the blaze, now 45 percent contained, has damaged or destroyed nearly 350 homes. (AP Photo/Bryan Oller)

  • A utilities worker walks through homes destroyed by the Waldo Canyon Fire in the Mountain Shadows neighborhood of Colorado Springs, Colo., on Monday, July 2, 2012. So far, the blaze, now 45 percent contained, has damaged or destroyed nearly 350 homes. (AP Photo/Bryan Oller)

  • A burnt page from a book rests in the foundation of a home destroyed by the Waldo Canyon Fire in the Mountain Shadows neighborhood of Colorado Springs, Colo., on Monday, July 2, 2012. So far, the blaze, now 45 percent contained, has damaged or destroyed nearly 350 homes. (AP Photo/Bryan Oller)

  • Firefighters stand in rubble in the Moun

    Firefighters stand in rubble in the Mountain Shadow neighborhood, which was burned by wildfires about 72 hours ago, on June 29, 2012 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. US President Barack Obama, who declared a major disaster in Colorado and offered federal assistance, is in the Colorado Springs area to survey wildfire damage and efforts to contain the natural disaster. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Major Wildfire Forces Evacuation Of Over 30,000 Near Colorado Springs

    COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - JULY 01: A smokey haze hangs over a neighborhood near the Waldo Canyon fire on July 1, 2012 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The massive fire, which is now 40 percent contained, has destroyed hundreds of homes and forced more than 35,000 people to flee. The fire is being called the largest in Colorado history. Investigators are continuing their search for the cause of the fire as a second body has been recovered from a burned home. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • Major Wildfire Forces Evacuation Of Over 30,000 Near Colorado Springs

    COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - JUNE 30: Homes destroyed by the Waldo Canyon fire are seen from the air in a neighborhood on June 30, 2012 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The massive fire, which has eased with the help of cooler temperatures and lighter winds, has destroyed hundreds of homes and forced more than 35,000 people to flee. The fire was estimated at 17,073 acres and was 25 precent contained with some evacuees being let back into their neighborhoods. A second body has been located in a burned home while others are still reported missing. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • Major Wildfire Forces Evacuation Of Over 30,000 Near Colorado Springs

    COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - JULY 01: A jogger looks out over neighborhoods evacuated due to the Waldo Canyon fire on July 01, 2012 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The massive fire, which is now 40 percent contained, has destroyed hundreds of homes and forced more than 35,000 people to flee. The fire is being called the largest in Colorado history. Investigators are continuing their search for the cause of the fire as a second body has been recovered from a burned home. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • Major Wildfire Forces Evacuation Of Over 30,000 Near Colorado Springs

    COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - JUNE 30: Homes destroyed by the Waldo Canyon fire are seen from the air in a neighborhood on June 30, 2012 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The massive fire, which has eased with the help of cooler temperatures and lighter winds, has destroyed hundreds of homes and forced more than 35,000 people to flee. The fire was estimated at 17,073 acres and was 25 precent contained with some evacuees being let back into their neighborhoods. A second body has been located in a burned home while others are still reported missing. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • Residents are allowed to go back to their homes up Hwy. 24 on Sunday, July 1, 2012, after being evacuated due to the Waldo Canyon fire in Colorado Springs, Colo. So far, the blaze, now 45 percent contained, has damaged or destroyed nearly 350 homes. (AP Photo/The Colorado Springs Gazette, Jerilee Bennett)

  • Major Wildfire Forces Evacuation Of Over 30,000 Near Colorado Springs

    COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - JUNE 30: Homes destroyed by the Waldo Canyon fire are seen from the air in a neighborhood on June 30, 2012 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The massive fire, which has eased with the help of cooler temperatures and lighter winds, has destroyed hundreds of homes and forced more than 35,000 people to flee. The fire was estimated at 17,073 acres and was 25 precent contained with some evacuees being let back into their neighborhoods. A second body has been located in a burned home while others are still reported missing. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • Major Wildfire Forces Evacuation Of Over 30,000 Near Colorado Springs

    COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - JUNE 30: Homes destroyed by the Waldo Canyon fire are seen from the air in a neighborhood on June 30, 2012 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The massive fire, which has eased with the help of cooler temperatures and lighter winds, has destroyed hundreds of homes and forced more than 35,000 people to flee. The fire was estimated at 17,073 acres and was 25 precent contained with some evacuees being let back into their neighborhoods. A second body has been located in a burned home while others are still reported missing. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • Major Wildfire Forces Evacuation Of Over 30,000 Near Colorado Springs

    COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - JUNE 30: Homes destroyed by the Waldo Canyon fire are seen from the air in a neighborhood on June 30, 2012 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The massive fire, which has eased with the help of cooler temperatures and lighter winds, has destroyed hundreds of homes and forced more than 35,000 people to flee. The fire was estimated at 17,073 acres and was 25 precent contained with some evacuees being let back into their neighborhoods. A second body has been located in a burned home while others are still reported missing. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • Major Wildfire Forces Evacuation Of Over 30,000 Near Colorado Springs

    COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - JUNE 30: Homes destroyed by the Waldo Canyon fire are seen from the air in a neighborhood on June 30, 2012 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The massive fire, which has eased with the help of cooler temperatures and lighter winds, has destroyed hundreds of homes and forced more than 35,000 people to flee. The fire was estimated at 17,073 acres and was 25 precent contained with some evacuees being let back into their neighborhoods. A second body has been located in a burned home while others are still reported missing. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • Major Wildfire Forces Evacuation Of Over 30,000 Near Colorado Springs

    COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - JUNE 30: A burned truck is viewed in a neighborhood affected by the Waldo Canyon fire on June 30, 2012 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The massive fire, which has eased with the help of cooler temperatures and lighter winds, has destroyed hundreds of homes and forced more than 35,000 people to flee. The fire was estimated at 17,073 acres and was 25 precent contained with some evacuees being let back into their neighborhoods. A second body has been located in a burned home while others are still reported missing. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • Major Wildfire Forces Evacuation Of Over 30,000 Near Colorado Springs

    COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - JUNE 30: Homes and cars destroyed by the Waldo Canyon fire are seen from the air in a neighborhood on June 30, 2012 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The massive fire, which has eased with the help of cooler temperatures and lighter winds, has destroyed hundreds of homes and forced more than 35,000 people to flee. The fire was estimated at 17,073 acres and was 25 precent contained with some evacuees being let back into their neighborhoods. A second body has been located in a burned home while others are still reported missing. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • Major Wildfire Forces Evacuation Of Over 30,000 Near Colorado Springs

    COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - JUNE 30: Homes destroyed by the Waldo Canyon fire are seen from the air in a neighborhood on June 30, 2012 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The massive fire, which has eased with the help of cooler temperatures and lighter winds, has destroyed hundreds of homes and forced more than 35,000 people to flee. The fire was estimated at 17,073 acres and was 25 precent contained with some evacuees being let back into their neighborhoods. A second body has been located in a burned home while others are still reported missing. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • Major Wildfire Forces Evacuation Of Over 30,000 Near Colorado Springs

    COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - JUNE 30: Homes destroyed by the Waldo Canyon fire are seen from the air in a neighborhood on June 30, 2012 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The massive fire, which has eased with the help of cooler temperatures and lighter winds, has destroyed hundreds of homes and forced more than 35,000 people to flee. The fire was estimated at 17,073 acres and was 25 precent contained with some evacuees being let back into their neighborhoods. A second body has been located in a burned home while others are still reported missing. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • Major Wildfire Forces Evacuation Of Over 30,000 Near Colorado Springs

    COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - JUNE 30: A man stands near homes destroyed by the Waldo Canyon fire are seen from the air in a neighborhood on June 30, 2012 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The massive fire, which has eased with the help of cooler temperatures and lighter winds, has destroyed hundreds of homes and forced more than 35,000 people to flee. The fire was estimated at 17,073 acres and was 25 precent contained with some evacuees being let back into their neighborhoods. A second body has been located in a burned home while others are still reported missing. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • Major Wildfire Forces Evacuation Of Over 30,000 Near Colorado Springs

    COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - JUNE 30: Destroyed homes sit beside a home left untouched by fire in a neighborhood affected by the Waldo Canyon fire on June 30, 2012 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The massive fire, which has eased with the help of cooler temperatures and lighter winds, has destroyed hundreds of homes and forced more than 35,000 people to flee. The fire was estimated at 17,073 acres and was 25 precent contained with some evacuees being let back into their neighborhoods. A second body has been located in a burned home while others are still reported missing. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • Major Wildfire Forces Evacuation Of Over 30,000 Near Colorado Springs

    COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - JUNE 30: Destroyed homes sit beside home left untouched by fire in a neighborhood affected by the Waldo Canyon fire on June 30, 2012 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The massive fire, which has eased with the help of cooler temperatures and lighter winds, has destroyed hundreds of homes and forced more than 35,000 people to flee. The fire was estimated at 17,073 acres and was 25 precent contained with some evacuees being let back into their neighborhoods. A second body has been located in a burned home while others are still reported missing. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • Major Wildfire Forces Evacuation Of Over 30,000 Near Colorado Springs

    COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - JUNE 30: Destroyed homes sit beside home left untouched by fire in a neighborhood affected by the Waldo Canyon fire on June 30, 2012 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The massive fire, which has eased with the help of cooler temperatures and lighter winds, has destroyed hundreds of homes and forced more than 35,000 people to flee. The fire was estimated at 17,073 acres and was 25 precent contained with some evacuees being let back into their neighborhoods. A second body has been located in a burned home while others are still reported missing. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • Major Wildfire Forces Evacuation Of Over 30,000 Near Colorado Springs

    COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - JUNE 30: Destroyed homes sit beside home left untouched by fire in a neighborhood affected by the Waldo Canyon fire on June 30, 2012 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The massive fire, which has eased with the help of cooler temperatures and lighter winds, has destroyed hundreds of homes and forced more than 35,000 people to flee. The fire was estimated at 17,073 acres and was 25 precent contained with some evacuees being let back into their neighborhoods. A second body has been located in a burned home while others are still reported missing. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • Major Wildfire Forces Evacuation Of Over 30,000 Near Colorado Springs

    COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - JUNE 30: A destroyed home is viewed in a neighborhood affected by the Waldo Canyon fire on June 30, 2012 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The massive fire, which has eased with the help of cooler temperatures and lighter winds, has destroyed hundreds of homes and forced more than 35,000 people to flee. The fire was estimated at 17,073 acres and was 25 precent contained with some evacuees being let back into their neighborhoods. A second body has been located in a burned home while others are still reported missing. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • Major Wildfire Forces Evacuation Of Over 30,000 Near Colorado Springs

    COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - JUNE 30: A burned truck is viewed in a neighborhood affected by the Waldo Canyon fire on June 30, 2012 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The massive fire, which has eased with the help of cooler temperatures and lighter winds, has destroyed hundreds of homes and forced more than 35,000 people to flee. The fire was estimated at 17,073 acres and was 25 precent contained with some evacuees being let back into their neighborhoods. A second body has been located in a burned home while others are still reported missing. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • WALDO CANYON FIRE

    President Barack Obama talks with firefighters as he tours the Mountain Shadow neighborhood devastated by wildfires, Friday, June 29, 2012, in, Colorado Springs, Colo. (AP Photo/The Colorado Springs Gazette, Mark Reis)

  • Major Wildfire Forces Evacuation Of Over 30,000 Near Colorado Springs

    COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - JUNE 30: Cars pass an area affected by the Waldo Canyon fire on June 30, 2012 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The massive fire, which has eased with the help of cooler temperatures and lighter winds, has destroyed hundreds of homes and forced more than 35,000 people to flee. The fire was estimated at 17,073 acres and was 25 precent contained with some evacuees being let back into their neighborhoods. A second body has been located in a burned home while others are still reported missing. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • WALDO CANYON FIRE

    President Barack Obama and Congressman Doug Lamborn survey damage from The Waldo Canyon Fire along Majestic Drive, Friday, June 29, 2012, in, Colorado Springs, Colo. (AP Photo/The Colorado Springs Gazette, Mark Reis)

  • Major Wildfire Forces Evacuation Of Over 30,000 Near Colorado Springs

    COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - JUNE 30: Smoke billows at sunrise from part of the Waldo Canyon fire on June 30, 2012 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The massive fire, which has eased with the help of cooler temperatures and lighter winds, has destroyed hundreds of homes and forced more than 35,000 people to flee. The fire was estimated at 17,073 acres and was 25 precent contained with some evacuees being let back into their neighborhoods. A second body has been located in a burned home while others are still reported missing. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • Barack Obama

    Secret Service watch from a tower as President Barack Obama aboard Air Force One leaves the airport in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Friday, June 29, 2012, after surveying damage from the Waldo Canyon wildfire and thanking first responders. The fire destroyed nearly 350 homes and killed one person. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

  • Major Wildfire Forces Evacuation Of Over 30,000 Near Colorado Springs

    COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - JUNE 30: Smoke billows at sunrise from part of the Waldo Canyon fire on June 30, 2012 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The massive fire, which has eased with the help of cooler temperatures and lighter winds, has destroyed hundreds of homes and forced more than 35,000 people to flee. The fire was estimated at 17,073 acres and was 25 precent contained with some evacuees being let back into their neighborhoods. A second body has been located in a burned home while others are still reported missing. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • Barack Obama

    President Barack Obama waves as he boards Air Force One in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Friday, June 29, 2012, after surveying damage from the Waldo Canyon wildfire and thanking first responders. The fire destroyed nearly 350 homes and killed one person. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

  • Members of Bighorn 209, a hand crew from the Crow Agency in Montana check for hot spots on the Waldo Canyon Fire west of Colorado Springs, Colo., Friday, June 29, 2012. After declaring a "major disaster" in the state early Friday and promising federal aid, President Barack Obama got a firsthand view of the wildfires and their toll on residential communities. More than 30,000 people have been evacuated in what is now the most destructive wildfire in state history. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Members of Bighorn 209, a hand crew from the Crow Agency in Montana check for hot spots on the Waldo Canyon Fire west of Colorado Springs, Colo., Friday, June 29, 2012. After declaring a "major disaster" in the state early Friday and promising federal aid, President Barack Obama got a firsthand view of the wildfires and their toll on residential communities. More than 30,000 people have been evacuated in what is now the most destructive wildfire in state history. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Members of Bighorn 209, a hand crew from the Crow Agency in Montana check for hot spots from the Waldo Canyon Fire west of Colorado Springs, Colo., Friday, June 29, 2012. After declaring a "major disaster" in the state early Friday and promising federal aid, President Barack Obama got a firsthand view of the wildfires and their toll on residential communities. More than 30,000 people have been evacuated in what is now the most destructive wildfire in state history. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Members of Bighorn 209, a hand crew from the Crow Agency in Montana check for hot spots on the Waldo Canyon Fire west of Colorado Springs, Colo., Friday, June 29, 2012. After declaring a "major disaster" in the state early Friday and promising federal aid, President Barack Obama got a firsthand view of the wildfires and their toll on residential communities. More than 30,000 people have been evacuated in what is now the most destructive wildfire in state history. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Members of Bighorn 209, a hand crew from the Crow Agency in Montana check for hot spots on the Waldo Canyon Fire west of Colorado Springs, Colo., Friday, June 29, 2012. After declaring a "major disaster" in the state early Friday and promising federal aid, President Barack Obama got a firsthand view of the wildfires and their toll on residential communities. More than 30,000 people have been evacuated in what is now the most destructive wildfire in state history. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • US President Barack Obama speaks with fi

    US President Barack Obama speaks with fire fighters while touring the Mountain Shadow neighborhood which was burned by wildfires about 72 hours ago, on June 29, 2012 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Obama, who declared a major disaster in Colorado and offered federal assistance, is in the Colorado Springs area to survey wildfire damage and efforts to contain the natural disaster. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages)

  • This infrared image provided by DigitalGlobe shows an aerial view of the Waldo Canyon Fire, June 28, 2012 in Colorado. The bright red areas denote healthy vegetation. This raging Colorado wildfire destroyed an estimated 346 homes this week, making it the most destructive fire in the state's history, officials said Friday June 29, 2012. (AP Photo/DigitalGlobe)