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You're reading: Worst wildfire ever in Colorado claims first victim
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Lighter winds helped firefighters gain new ground against the inferno, which had roared unchecked on Tuesday night through communities in the northwestern corner of Colorado Springs and threatened theU.S. Air Force Academy campus in town.

Aerial photos of devastation unleashed by the so-called Waldo Canyon Fire showed large swaths of neighborhoods reduced to gray ash – one house after another obliterated while adjacent dwellings survived mostly unscathed.

Authorities initially acknowledged the loss of hundreds of homes, but the damage toll released Thursday afternoon by Mayor Steve Bach – a preliminary count of 346 houses gutted by fire – confirmed the full extent of destruction.

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