As President Obama arrived here on Friday to tour the aftermath of the most destructive wildfire in Colorado history, fire crews said they were slowly hemming in the blaze and beginning to reopen a few neighborhoods where residents had fled gales of ash and smoke.
Although plumes of smoke still curled skyward from the mountains above Colorado’s second-largest city, local authorities said the 17,000-acre blaze was not spreading and had been 25 percent contained. And some of the 32,000 people evacuated earlier this week returned home, unloading the suitcases, photo albums and pets they had hurriedly packed up as the fires descended down the hillsides.
But as officials reported tentative progress, they also offered a clearer picture of the extent of the damage. At least two bodies were found in a burned home, and fewer than 10 people were unaccounted for. More than 340 homes have been destroyed. Aerial photographs published by The Denver Post showed blocks of subdivisions reduced to ash and splinters, some homes standing intact while the ones next door were burned flat.
Read more at The New York Times.