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Barack Obama's 'heartbreaking' tour of wildfire zone

Barack Obama in Colorado Springs Photo: Reuters

Barack Obama has toured areas ravaged by wildfires in Colorado and described the devastation as "heartbreaking".

The US President has already declared it a major disaster and offered financial help.

But, Republicans say his visit to the state had as much to do with the forthcoming elections as it is one of the marginal areas he needs to win.

An image of an area of Colorado Springs before the wildfires
The same image after the wildfires. Dozens of homes gutted

America's Denver Post has a gallery of some more of the damage from the air.

Before landing, the President's plane, Air Force One, flew over part of the Rocky Mountains where smoke could be seen rising from the areas ravaged by what officials say is the most destructive blaze in state history.

Washington Correspondent Robert Moore reports:

Authorities have confirmed the full extent of destruction so far:

  • 347 houses gutted by fire
  • More than 20,000 homes still threatened by the blaze

The smoke can even be seen from space. NASA has released this image from the International Space Station.

Image from space, 250 miles up Credit: NASA