Wildfires burn homes, force evacuations in Oklahoma

Wildfires burn homes, force evacuations in Oklahoma

State officials said dry conditions and strong winds have combined to create potential fire dangers.

The hunters became separated in the smoke and fire, and two were later rescued Thursday evening. He was flown to the hospital to be treated.

Dewey County Sheriff Clay Sander said his deputies are going door-to-door in Seiling, Taloga and Putnam telling residents to leave.

"It's been ominous all day long", said Don Avery, while sitting in his pickup truck with his wife, watching the fire creep closer to the small town.

Fire officials are calling the fire conditions "historic".

A turkey hunter was hospitalized with burns after being trapped in one fire.

Wildfires are raging in Vici, Oklahoma, where they are burning homes and killing cattle.

There is also a fire burning still in Roger Mills County, with approximately 3,500 acres destroyed.it is about 25 percent contained. An additional fire is located southwest of Vici.

Some 450 people also have been evacuated in adjacent Woodward County, where a fire has burned 115-thousand acres.

A number of fire department tenders and oil field semi trailer tankers ferried water, almost non-stop, to waiting brush pumper crews quickly returning to the staging area before heading back out into the fields.

The fires' spread comes as the United States faces a trio of risky weather possibilities this weekend: Besides the critical fire danger in Oklahoma and the Southern Plains, severe storms and tornadoes are forecast in the Mississippi River Valley, and heavy snow is expected for the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest. An additional fire southeast of Woodward that started yesterday is being monitored and is now in mop up stage. Oklahoma City TV station KFOR reports that some Woodward County residents were evacuated.

The Reger Hill Fire and the Highway 34 fires have consumed about 60,000 acres. Both lanes of westbound I-40 were closed at Erick because of fires in Texas.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency Friday in 55 of the state's 77 counties.

The declaration allows state agencies to make emergency purchases and acquisitions needed to deliver resources.

The governor's burn ban makes it unlawful for any person to set fire to any forest, grass, woods, wildlands, or marshes; to build a bonfire or fire; to burn or ignite fireworks; or to burn trash or other materials outdoors in any of the listed counties.

The Nationwide Local weather Service says risky hearth local weather circumstances are anticipated in a whole lot of western Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Panhandle by Saturday, with low humidity and sturdy winds of 20-30 miles per hour (32-48 kph) and gusts of as a lot as 50 miles per hour (80 kph).

Three agriculture organizations - Oklahoma Cattlemen's Foundation, Oklahoma Farmers and Ranchers Foundation and Oklahoma Farmer's Union Foundation - are setting up relief efforts.

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