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Waldo Canyon fire claims first fatality and 346 homes (+video)

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The tally of homes consumed by the Waldo Canyon blaze ranks as the most on record, surpassing the 257 homes swallowed in recent weeks by a much larger blaze north of Denver near Fort Collins. (Graphic of fires: http://link.reuters.com/cet98s)

President Barack Obama planned to visit Colorado Springs on Friday to meet with firefighters and tour the ravaged area.

RASH OF WILDFIRES ACROSS COUNTRY
Waldo Canyon was among over 40 large, uncontained wildfires being fought across the United States, the bulk of them in 10 western states -- Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, South Dakota, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and even Hawaii, the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, reported.

Searing temperatures and strong, erratic winds in recent days stoked the Waldo Canyon blaze, which has burned at least 18,500 acres (7,487 hectares) of timber and brush, much of it in the Pike National Forest to the west of the city that lies at the base of the famed Pikes Peak mountaintop.

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