AP PHOTOS: Wildfires burn in the West

June 30, 2012 - 11:35 AM
Western Wildfires Obama

President Barack Obama visits with firefighters at the Mountain Shadows neighborhood damaged by the Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado Springs, Colo., Friday, June 29, 2012. After declaring a "major disaster" in the state early Friday and promising federal aid, 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/The Denver Post, Joe Amon) MAGS OUT; TV OUT; INTERNET OUT

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 1½ 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.

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Here is a gallery of photos from the wildfires.