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First lady reflects on Colorado wildfires

Published:Thursday | June 21, 2012 | 12:00 AM

CENTENNIAL, Colorado (AP):

Michelle Obama began her second day of political campaigning in the West by reflecting on wildfires that have burned down hundreds of homes and charred huge sections of Colorado and other states in the region.

"I just want to say that our hearts and our prayers are with all of the families affected by the fires here in this state and in other states out West," Mrs Obama told nearly 3,000 Democrats gathered for a campaign rally in suburban Denver.

She then thanked firefighters and emergency responders working on the blazes, saying, "America stands behind you every step of the way."

A 93-square-mile wildfire burning in northern Colorado has destroyed more homes than any other in state history. And elsewhere yesterday, firefighters were battling blazes in Arizona, California, Idaho, New Mexico, Nevada, and even the president's home state of Hawaii.

After talking about the fires, the first lady gave a routine campaign speech to a crowd south of Denver. Mrs Obama said the economy is on the mend, that the president's health-care overhaul has helped young people, and that the administration is working to help students afford college.

As in Nevada on Tuesday, Mrs Obama also talked up her husband's order that his administration stop deporting some young illegal immigrants. She also said he's still pushing for a federal bill on citizenship for college students.