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Colorado Update: Obama Plans Visit on Friday

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Reuters) – Firefighters struggled on Wednesday to beat back a fiercely aggressive wildfire raging at the edge of Colorado Springs that has forced at least 35,000 people from their homes and was nipping at the edges of the U.S. Air Force Academy.

The so-called Waldo Canyon Fire, fanned by gusting winds, has gutted an unknown number of homes on the wooded fringes of Colorado’s second-most populous city and prompted more evacuations as flames roared out of control for a fifth day.

President Barack Obama plans to pay a visit to the area on Friday to view the damage, the White House said.

The blaze flared Tuesday night with sudden ferocity and quickly overran fire containment lines, invading the northwestern corner of the city. But officials have declined to characterize the extent of property damage there.

Colorado Springs Fire Chief Rich Brown told Reuters that he had “a number in mind” for the approximate tally of homes lost in Tuesday night’s firestorm but did not want to release that information until residents of those dwellings were notified. . .

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