President Obama plans to jet to Colorado tomorrow to view the devastation of an "epic" rampaging wildfire near Colorado Springs that has gutted hundreds of homes, sent some 35,000 residents fleeing, and destroyed 19,000 acres. Rich Brown, fire chief of Colorado Springs, the state's second largest city, called the blaze a "monster," and said flames were "not even remotely close to being contained."
Erratic winds yesterday whipped the roaring firestorm from one direction to another. "I've never seen any progression like that," a local commander told Reuters. The governor has declared it the "worst fire season in the history of Colorado." (Surprising side story: Thousands of federal firefighters must battle blazes uninsured.)