Obama headed to Colorado to visit areas affected by wildfires

posted at 6:41 pm on June 27, 2012 by Allahpundit

The Waldo Canyon fire outside Colorado Springs isn’t the only one burning but it’s the worst. Five percent contained, 15,000 acres already gone, and more than 32,000 people evacuated — including our beloved boss emeritus, whose Twitter feed is now almost wholly devoted to chronicling CS’s waking nightmare. She’s your best bet for photos of what they’re up against. It’s actually not the birdseye pics of the forest on fire that really brought it home to me, it’s this one. Good lord. According to Jay Carney, more than half of the feds’ wildfire-fighting resources are currently stationed in Colorado — and yet, from what I understand, because they’re expecting high winds and possible lightning strikes, this may yet get worse before it gets better. Again, good lord.

As of January, Colorado was among the top five states with the highest net migration. I wonder where they’ll be after this.

Mr. Obama called Gov. John Hickenlooper and Mayor Steve Bach of Colorado Springs, the state’s second-largest city, to get an update on the blaze, known as the Waldo Canyon Fire. “The president expressed his concern about the extent of damage to homes in the Colorado Springs area,” the White House said, “and informed both the governor and the mayor that he plans to travel to the area Friday to view the damage and thank the responders bravely battling the fire.”

The president also asked if state and local officials needed more federal resources to fight the fires. The United States Forest Service, the Interior Department and the Federal Emergency Management Agency are involved in the effort. Seventeen air tankers have been deployed in the Western states over the last 48 hours. Local officials are also battling fires in Arizona, California, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

Colorado has been a frequent destination for Mr. Obama this year because of its status as a hotly contested swing state, though the president often visits the sites of natural disasters throughout the country.

Obama’s flying in on Friday for a goodwill visit, which would be smart politics under any circumstances now that this is a national story but seems especially shrewd as a subject-changer the day after the ObamaCare ruling and Holder contempt vote. Don’t bother the man with petty questions about mandates: He’s got a fire to fight.

Two vids for you of a slow-motion catastrophe in progress. If you live there, watching these homes burn must feel a little like watching friends die. And yet, one of the memes du jour on Twitter is hoping that the fire spreads just far enough to consume Focus on the Family headquarters in the city. Wonderful. Exit question: If you lived in Colorado Springs and could afford to move, would you? There’ll be more wildfires in the future, hopefully not as bad as this but with no guarantees, of course. I’d imagine that the trauma of living through it would make you want to ensure that it never happened to you again.


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Maybe he just misses home and this is as close as he can get.

Russ86 on June 27, 2012 at 7:58 PM

Too bad Texas isn’t a swing state.
We got ignored by the Child.

the new aesthetic on June 27, 2012 at 7:42 PM

As we say, f*ck him and the taxpayer dollars he would’ve rode in on.

TXUS on June 27, 2012 at 7:59 PM

Looks like President Obama might as well have started the fires himself!!!!

http://www.weeklystandard.com/print/blogs/colorados-epic-firestorm-reveals-danger-air-force-cuts_647897.html

Obama cut…….fires gut!!!!

“Mr. President why do you hate Colorado so much?”

PappyD61 on June 27, 2012 at 8:06 PM

Prayers, all around. And, trust me, those were NOT for the ‘Messiah”s visit !
Yikes.

pambi on June 27, 2012 at 8:07 PM

Exit question: If you lived in Colorado Springs and could afford to move, would you? There’ll be more wildfires in the future, hopefully not as bad as this but with no guarantees, of course. I’d imagine that the trauma of living through it would make you want to ensure that it never happened to you again.

You do realize that most of the city is NOT in the foothills, right? Maybe people will be more cautious about living in the Red Zone, but most people rebuild and life goes on, until the next time.

If people do rebuild, they need to educate themselves on making their home defensible, although I’m not sure how that would work in the kind of regular neighborhood like the one that burned yesterday. It’s usually meant for people who have enough land that clearing trees and brush actually helps.

If you don’t want to worry about wildfires, I recommend NOT living in the mountains, especially the Red Zone (the drier foothill areas). Unfortunately, it’s quite desirable since people like the mountain lifestyle that the Red Zone provides but it’s still close enough to cities to easily commute.

As for Obama, the firefighters will still be too busy on Friday to bother with his little thank you campaign speech. The people can do without road closures and traffic jams. They have more important things to do.

Common Sense on June 27, 2012 at 8:08 PM

Good, I guess that means he left the Varsity.

Bmore on June 27, 2012 at 8:10 PM

Exit question: If you lived in Colorado Springs and could afford to move, would you?

No. Reasons?
330 days of sunshine per year.
No hurricanes
No earthquakes
No typhoons
No tornadoes (unless you live to the extreme east of town)
Very low humidity, which results in cool nights in the summer.
Mostly conservative
The oxygen deprivation and lightheadedness passes after you’ve lived here a few months
True we have our share of douchebags and wackos but they’re not as loud and annoying as they are in Denver.

It’s actually not the birdseye pics of the forest on fire that really brought it home to me, it’s this one.

For me, this was the most disturbing pic.

RMCS_USN on June 27, 2012 at 8:14 PM

It’s certainly been a rough year here in Colorado. Earlier this week we had a grass fire about 25 miles south of us in the Last Chance area that burned 45,000 acres in less than two days. Thank God for air support or we would have been in big trouble.

The Last Chance fire was the second larges so far in Colorado this year but, as far as I’ve seen and heard, there hasn’t been much said about this fire and the impact of homes lost and businesses affected by the fire. Then again this isn’t exactly Hickenlooper and Obama country.

boomer on June 27, 2012 at 8:16 PM

One of my very best friends lives in Colorado Springs–yesterday the Waldo Canyon fire was five miles from her home. This morning it was two miles. She’s sent her children off to a relative and she and her husband have packed as much as they can. They are the lucky ones–they’ve had time to get their stuff in order. So far they haven’t been ordered to leave, but they are really just waiting. Some of their friends weren’t so lucky–they were told in the middle of the night they had ten minutes to leave. Ten minutes. And now their homes are gone. My heart just breaks.

As for Obama–he could care less about disaster areas period, unless it will serve him a political purpose. Two years ago Rhode Island suffered the most severe flood it’s had in recent memory and Obama declined to visit. The man had time to fly to a fundraiser in Massachusetts at the same time people were losing their homes under ten feet of water, but he didn’t have time to visit his constituents in a blue state that loves him (I live in a little red pocket, thankfully.) RI is blue as can be and he didn’t have to worry about it turning, and even if it did it’s too small for him to care. No humanity for the people who supported him. He also didn’t visit the Wilkes-Barre area last year when the Susquehanna flooded (I have family there.) I can’t wait to see him voted out. Can’t wait.

Niere on June 27, 2012 at 8:17 PM

…he’s probably wanting to see where there are no fires…so he can declare in an EO that logging and cutting brush on private lands will now be forbidden, as they are on most federal lands. New growth areas don’t burn as well as old growth areas…so he will have to put a stop to that!

KOOLAID2 on June 27, 2012 at 8:26 PM

No doubt Barry is bringing his own mirrors.

pain train on June 27, 2012 at 8:27 PM

In 2011, Texas had almost 3,000 homes destroyed and suffered 3.9 Million acres (not 15 thousand) burned.
Obama didn’t even call and also turned down requests for federal help.
It must be an election year.

DublOh7 on June 27, 2012 at 8:30 PM

Can’t wait to see the photo of Obama in front of a wall of fire -
- then see the photo altered by some clever blogger who adds a pair of horns on his head!

Amjean on June 27, 2012 at 8:31 PM

The Springs is my family hometown, but those that remain there are still quite a bit farther east than the threatened area. Another friend was evacuated two days ago due to the Last Chance fire. Even more friends I haven’t heard from yet in Ft. Collins.

ES from Denver, Pueblo, Black Forest and others are in the city to assist. I’ve been listening to the FD/EMS radio scanner for two days, they assign, fight, get fuel and water for trucks, assign, fight, and repeat. About every 6 hours you might hear someone is making a food run to drop off at the command post. All the while, having to make the judgement calls on which houses they can save, and some they saved last night, are in neighbourhoods that ceased existing early this morning.

Here’s a map of the burn perimeter, with roadmap, weather, and some social media density BS that doesn’t need to exist, but can be turned off.
http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_20839469?source=pop

Here’s the CSFD/EMS scanner.
http://www.radioreference.com/apps/audio/?action=wp&feedId=34

I really have nothing even remotely polite to say about Obama going to visit, not after Texas.

PXCharon on June 27, 2012 at 8:36 PM

Obama is the current President. Colorado is in disaster mode. He should go there. that’s what Presidents are for.

gerrym51 on June 27, 2012 at 8:37 PM

I do live there, and work in Mountain Shadows. And I live in the forest. But no, I wouldn’t move. What would I move to? Tornadoes? Hurricanes? Bugs? Nope, it’s heaven, just scary as hell when it gets this dry.

kirkill on June 27, 2012 at 8:48 PM

and I didn’t mention floods, no possibility for flooding where I live, unless it rains 40 days and 40 nights. Focus on the Family is a great business to have, and if you don’t like that, I hear that Manitou Springs has one of the largest covens of witches in the country. Fight fire with fire.

Also, according to Gallup, Colo Spgs is the 4th fittest city in the country.

kirkill on June 27, 2012 at 9:00 PM

Allah the Waldo Canyon Fire is bad but this one below is still raging after 15 days. This fire is in North Colorado Ft Collins.

Day 15: Colorado wildfire – High Park Fire near Fort Collins now 81,190 acres, 45 percent containment, 191 homes destroyed, 1 dead

Here is a photo of the Dahl Fire outside of Billings the horses have been turned loose.

Wall Photos facebook This is a Bozeman MT., station.

KBZK TV’s Photos · KBZK TV’s Page

Dr Evil on June 27, 2012 at 9:03 PM

Wonderful. Exit question: If you lived in Colorado Springs and could afford to move, would you?

We have wanted to move back home to where my husband’s parents live since he retired from the Army. Unfortunately the bottom fell out of the U.S. economy and housing market so we can’t afford to go starve in the Mountains. The good news, God Loves Us, when the financial crisis hit we were sitting tight in Texas ;)

Dr Evil on June 27, 2012 at 9:17 PM

Exit question: If you lived in Colorado Springs and could afford to move, would you?

I’m 65 and moved to Colorado Springs a year ago. It’s the best city I’ve ever lived in with the best people. ElPaso County is the most conservative county in Colorado, maybe in the US. One small example: a few months ago I was in a local hardware store looking for a reinforced front door lock which they did not have. The store clerk said- “just get a shotgun.” Nowhere else I have lived would a clerk have said that. Today when Obama’s visit was announced one of the TV reporters covering the fire commented that Obama wouldn’t be particularly welcome in this community. He had to back off a bit a while later, because after all it is the President. But this county/city stands together better than any place I have ever seen. And all are fighting this fire together with the whole community supporting both the firefighters and the residents who have been displaced.

mjzman on June 27, 2012 at 9:54 PM

If Obozo isn’t bringing Air Force tankers filled with water then why bother ?

BillyPenn on June 27, 2012 at 9:55 PM

There are also fires outside of Jerusalem — that look to potentially be started by terrorists. SMOKE: IT’S THE SCENT OF “ARAB SPRING”.

Mutnodjmet on June 27, 2012 at 9:57 PM

We need the slurry bombers that this twit of a politician cut from the budget far more than we need his personal appearance.

n0doz on June 27, 2012 at 9:57 PM

Saying prayers for your family and your home’s safety.
Flora Duh on June 27, 2012 at 7:35 PM

Ditto here.

txhsmom on June 27, 2012 at 7:41 PM

Much appreciated.

ErikMcA on June 27, 2012 at 9:58 PM

Odd that Obowma never visited the Mississippi River flood victims, the Texas fire victims, the Florida hurricane victims…what a scumbag.

Everything is political with this turd.

dthorny on June 27, 2012 at 9:59 PM

El Pomar Commits $2.5 Million to Colorado Wildfire Response

Included in the funding is $100,000 to establish the Waldo Canyon Fire Victim Assistance Fund, which will be administered by Pikes Peak United Way. Pikes Peak United Way will accept donations from community members looking to support families and individuals affected by the Waldo Canyon fire. Donors can send contributions to: Pikes Peak United Way, Attn: Waldo Canyon Fire Victim Assistance Fund, 518 N. Nevada Avenue, 80903.

Additional El Pomar grants approved today for distribution include:

Rocky Mountain Health Care Services – $10,000 for sheltering of individuals and animals
American Red Cross – Southwest Colorado – $5,000 to provide food and supplies to firefighters
Catholic Charities of Central Colorado – $10,000 to support the organization’s efforts in feeding evacuees of the Waldo Canyon fire
Black Forest Fire/Rescue – $10,000 for the purchase of wild land gear
Cascade Volunteer Fire Department – $5,000 for volunteer operations and support equipment
Tri-County Fire Protection District – $600 for web belts to carry fire shelters
Fountain Fire Department – $2,000 to replace five damaged fire shelters

Dr Evil on June 27, 2012 at 10:17 PM

ElPaso County is the most conservative county in Colorado, maybe in the US.
mjzman on June 27, 2012 at 9:54 PM

Nope, Mesa County is the most conservative county in Colorado. By the way, looking out my front window here in Fruita and watching the beginning of a fire in the Bookcliff Mountains.
: (

Garym on June 27, 2012 at 10:34 PM

Obama is the current President. Colorado is in disaster mode. He should go there. that’s what Presidents are for.

gerrym51 on June 27, 2012 at 8:37 PM

Its a purple state, he is coming here looking for votes. He’ll probably find some funds under a rock somewhere, to give to Hickenlooper, to spread around to possible voters.
GTFO! We don’t need you Barack.

Garym on June 27, 2012 at 10:41 PM

As someone who lives in one of the Pre-Evacuation areas I can say this sucks. Im not even in the country but ive been talking with my brother to figure out what is going on and he says its “apocalyptic”.
The smoke comes in heavy and makes it hard to breathe. The sky is constantly hazy and dark like its dusk. And the fear that our house wont be there in a few days is always there.
Its a terrifying thing. Everything that we own might be gone in a day or two.

The fire is moving in unpredictable ways. Its jumping miles at a time and taking out huge chunks of land and houses. When you think you are fine the wind changes and it runs at your house. Yesterday we were told an entire subdivision of housing would be fine, a few hours later it was burning.

As far as the exit question: I love Colorado Springs. Ive lived here for 14 years now. I consider it my hometown and I dont want to move away. Yes things suck and this fire is scary but in the end, it is just stuff. All of our irreplaceable items have been packed up. If the house burns down, it burns. Just so long as no one is hurt. The only thing I may do differently is build even better fire prevention around our house.

I dont really like Obama but it is nice to have him come to the area. If only because it will drive some attention to what is happening and hopefully bring in help from outside. He wont get my vote but he will get a little bit more respect for bringing attention to this disaster.

My brother said that Canada has sent a ton of resources to the area already.

Blu3Yeti on June 28, 2012 at 12:30 AM

The people of Colorado don’t need his campaign photo op.
He should stay the heck out of the way.
I hope they parachute his ass in!

Delsa on June 28, 2012 at 12:33 AM

It’s about time Obama showed up. He took longer to do this than Bush did after Katrina. Obama is only going there because it is a swing state, if it were a solid red state, he wouldn’t lift a finger.

Dollayo on June 28, 2012 at 1:33 AM

Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone battling wildfires in Colorado. The devastation is hard to stomach. My fiance has a lot of family in Colorado Springs and in the suburbs of Denver. It’s heart wrenching to see people’s livelihoods and memories go up in smoke. The only solace I can offer is that property can be rebuilt – people and pets cannot. So far, I have not heard of any human casualties resulting from the Waldo fire. We in the west will rebuild.

We’re in New Mexico, and dealing with many of our own fires. The fire in our beautiful Gila Mountains is almost 300,000 acres and is still burning. Ruidoso recently lost 250 homes.

Here in central New Mexico, we have received less than 2 inches of precipitation all year long, including snow melt. It’s rained once all year, and that was brief. We’re a tinderbox waiting to go up and I’m praying lightning doesn’t strike around my subdivision or the brush will ignite and we’ll all be in Colorado’s situation. We desperately need rain.

Stay strong everyone in Colorado. Your beautiful state will recover. Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods, Canon City – the Colorado Springs area is one of the most beautiful places I’ve had the pleasure to visit. You also have some of the nicest people I’ve met. I have every faith you will recover. Thank you for instilling a little hope in jaded folks like me that humanity is still worth fighting for.

From your neighbors to the south, please be safe.

conservative_student on June 28, 2012 at 1:51 AM

If this has been suggested, please round file – Why doesn’t Obama just get Pelosi to “deem” the fire out? It works for other things.

Then Obama will have killed Osama and put out the fires. You’d think that after “healing the Earth”, this would be a piece of cake.

Squiggy on June 28, 2012 at 5:51 AM

Well,heres another F****G mess Obama has created,
I did some snoop’n!!
_____________________

Colo. Gov. Hickenlooper defended President Obama Wednesday over the number of air tankers fighting wildfires across the state – @denverpost
Submitted 7 hours ago by editor

Colorado Gov. Hickenlooper defends Obama over reduced air tanker fleet
Posted: 06/27/2012 05:53:52 PM MDT
Updated: 06/27/2012 06:36:11 PM MDT

http://www.denverpost.com/recommended/ci_20955042
*************************************************

Will air tankers become a partisan issue?
Posted on June 20, 2012
http://wildfiretoday.com/2012/06/20/will-air-tankers-become-partisan-issue/

(Today a far right-wing web site)
http://michellemalkin.com/2012/06/20/how-obama-bureaucrats-fueled-western-wildfires/

http://wildfiretoday.com/2011/07/29/forest-service-cancels-contract-for-6-large-air-tankers/
**********************************

(cancellation of the contract with Aero Union)

Forest Service cancels contract for 6 large air tankers
Posted on July 29, 2011

http://wildfiretoday.com/2011/07/29/forest-service-cancels-contract-for-6-large-air-tankers/

Here is the complete text of the news release the USFS issued today, July 29:

http://www.fs.fed.us/news/2011/releases/07/airtanker.shtml
********************************

canopfor on June 28, 2012 at 5:41 AM

canopfor on June 28, 2012 at 6:40 AM

Whoa! Hold on there. I think Obama is piling too much on his plate.

He has yet slowed the rise of the seas or begun the healing of the planet. How can he possibly slow the spread of wild fires?

BMF on June 28, 2012 at 7:00 AM

First, I hope everyone survives and they are all fully insured (about the best you can hope for in a tragedy like this).
That said, isn’t a wildfire natures way of saying “get off my lawn”?

SKYFOX on June 28, 2012 at 7:29 AM

Obama did not come to Central Texas (2,000 homes destroyed) at all or even do much in the way of sending help. In fact we had firefighting planes sitting out at Bergstrom unable to fly due to FAA regulations. So pardon me if I have no kind words to say about Obama and his opportunistic political agenda.

Nashville Floods, Obama was a no show. Joplin, MO.. No Show. Mississippi River Floods, no show. Gulf Oil Disaster, it took about three weeks for him to start acting and it was in a negative role.

He does have all sorts of time to jaunt about the country eating expensive dinners and drinking the best wines while collecting money from the uber rich.

James on June 28, 2012 at 8:04 AM

You mean he’s going to squeeze in a couple of minutes to look all concerned for the cameras while he’s departing some $40,000 a plate fundraiser to get in a quick 9 holes at a local country club, before heading out to LA to hang out with some cool celebrity for a bit? Such is the price he has to pay to foist the tab for this fundraising visit off onto us taxpayers. Life is just so hard for him.

I don’t expect to see him anywhere near north Florida from to see the damage from Debby – the wrong kind of people got their homes flooded out, after all. And he won’t be missed, either.

Gator Country on June 28, 2012 at 8:45 AM

I don’t remember the president of the United States visiting my town when we were hit by a devastating tornado in the 1970s. Nor would I have expected him to do so, nor would his visit have achieved anything that wasn’t going to be done anyway (cleaning up the damage, getting on with our lives).

I would guess that it will cost hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars for him and his entourage to make the trip?

By the way, did the White House ever tell the American people who was on board Air Force One when it flew around Manhattan a few years back?

KyMouse on June 28, 2012 at 10:13 AM

HotAir is late to the party …
Where are all of the C-130s that could and would be converted to wildfire suppression?
ObaMao cut the Air Fleet by enough numbers that WE got trouble domestically not only “right here in River City”, but also in a variety of combat theaters.
*sigh*
When is the military going to say “ENOUGH!”?
When is AMERICA going to say “enough!”?
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on June 28, 2012 at 11:19 AM

A visit from Obama is the last thing Colorado needs. He’s not welcome here.

lea on June 28, 2012 at 1:20 PM

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