(CBS News) COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - President Obama leaves Washington for Colorado Friday to see the most destructive wildfire in that state's history.
We were struck Thursday by images in The Denver Post showing a neighborhood up in flames -- 346 homes have been burned down. There are more than 1,000 firefighters and 32,000 evacuees.
Now firefighters are getting some help from the weather. They've had their first break in days in dealing with a fire that incident commander Rich Harvey calls "obnoxious."
"It just doesn't want to line up and give me a good place to figure out the best actions to take," said Harvey. "Today with the winds down, we've got a shot to dictate to that fire what's gonna happen."
What's already happened to many can now be seen clearly from the air, in the images of the burned-out homes and cul-de-sacs, and heard in videos.
"My whole life is in flames," said Jeff Lucas, who shot this video Tuesday as he and his parents ran to escape the fast-moving fire. "This is unbelievable!" he said in the video. "It's all the way down the hill, dude! Look at this! We got to go!"
Early Thursday morning, he found a photo online that let him zoom in to see his home. "I looked at this," he told CBS News, "and I said, 'This is the moment of truth and [that's when] your heart starts pounding a bit, because you know you're going to find out what the status is.'"
He did. The house was gone.
"It's just one of those things that you're not going to get back," said Lucas. "You can rebuild the house, but it's not going to be the same."
Officially, this fire stands at 10 percent contained, but the incident commander told CBS News he puts the actual figure probably at closer to 30 percent. And if the good weather holds Friday, they're hoping that figure will go higher.