POSTED: 02:37 p.m. HST, Jun 29, 2012
LAST UPDATED: 05:41 p.m. HST, Jun 29, 2012
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. >> Firefighters searching for bodies in smoldering piles of the nearly 350 homes burned to the ground by the most destructive wildfire in Colorado history found a second body today at a residence where another person was found dead earlier.
As crews on the front lines made slow but steady progress against the flames, Police Chief Pete Carey said fewer than 10 people altogether were unaccounted for. The remains of one person were found Thursday in what was left standing of one home. He confirmed that the remains of a second person who lived there were found today.
The 26-square-mile blaze — one of several wildfires burning out of control across the tinder-dry West — was reported to be 25 percent contained, and authorities began lifting some of the evacuation orders for the more than 30,000 people who fled their homes a few days ago.
After growing explosively earlier in the week, the fire gained no ground overnight, authorities reported today. And the weather was clear and mostly calm, a welcome break from the lightning and high wind that drove the flames.
President Barack Obama toured the stricken areas today after issuing a disaster declaration for Colorado that frees up federal funds. He thanked firefighters and other emergency workers, saying: “The country is grateful for your work. The country’s got your back.”