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The Boston Globe

Opinion

Juliette Kayyem

The politics of disaster

THE ROAD TO the White House cuts across many swing states including Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Under intense speculation and never-ending polling, these states are hot, so to speak. But only one is really hot, literally hot, actually on fire. Blazing Colorado is finding that the politics of a campaign are made more caustic by the politics of disaster.

As President Obama visited Colorado on Friday, it was clear these are fires of historic proportions. The Waldo Canyon blaze has forced the evacuation of 35,000 people and burned 18,500 acres. The tragedy has required calling in firefighters and equipment from around the nation. It has also engendered questions about the sanity of building residential developments in areas prone to fire.

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