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Colorado Wildfire Claims One Life, Destroys Nearly 350 Homes

Chris Schneider/Getty Images(COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.) -- The wildfire raging near Colorado Springs, Colo., has claimed one life and at least 347 homes, officials announced on Thursday.

At a late night news conference, Colorado Springs Police Chief Peter Carey said the remains of one human being were discovered at a residence that was destroyed by flames in the Mountain Shadows subdivision.  Another person from the same address is missing, he said.

Earlier in the day, Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach said hundreds of homes had been destroyed by the Waldo Canyon wildfire, and that city officials were working hard to gather information for evacuated residents to determine what neighborhoods were affected by the disaster.

"We are working through the process, which is very painstaking, of assessing every address to make sure that we have absolutely accurate information on each address," Bach said.

More than 1,000 firefighters are working to tame the blaze, which has already torched 16,750 acres.  It is not yet known what caused the fire.

On Friday, President Obama signed a disaster declaration for Colorado.

"The President today declared a major disaster exists in the State of Colorado and ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by the High Park and Waldo Canyon Fires beginning on June 9, 2012, and continuing," the White House said in a statement.

Obama will tour the areas hit hardest by the Waldo Canyon wildfire on Friday.

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