Wildfires continue burning in western Oklahoma

Wildfires continue burning in western Oklahoma

On Tuesday, the National Weather Service warned that much of New Mexico, parts of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas were at an extreme risk of wildfires, due to a heady mix of hot, dry weather and strong winds, in some places gusting up to 80 miles per hour.

Winds from the northwest Wednesday will move smoke across central Oklahoma, the National Weather Service reports.

By early afternoon Tuesday, temperatures that were projected to reach the mid-90s had reached 88 degreeswith humidity at 6 percent.

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin has declared a state of emergency for 52 of the state's 77 counties because of the wildfires and critical conditions for more fires to start.

Approximately 90 homes have been evacuated from the two counties, including homes in the town of Richfield in Morton County.

MORTON COUNTY -Gov. Jeff Colyer, M.D., issued a verbal disaster declaration for several western Kansas counties battling wildland fires late Tuesday.

Two people have died in the Oklahoma fires, which began late last week.

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The second largest fire - the 34 Complex fire in Woodward County - continued scorching across about 68,000 acres and still stood at 45 percent containment as of Tuesday morning, forestry officials said.

The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management has called in air support from the Oklahoma National Guard to stop the fire from spreading.

Fires in Colorado licked Denver suburbs on Tuesday, stretching firefighting resources to their limits and taking out homes.

Elder hopes they can put the remaining fire out before winds pick up later Wednesday.

As the rain sets in, we may find temperatures struggling to get into double figures, all of which will come as welcome news to the firefighters battling the blazes. Notices warning area residents to be ready to abandon their homes at a moment's notice have been lifted and an evacuation center in Grants closed.

Katie Horner, a state emergency management spokeswoman, said Wednesday that some structures have been destroyed but that state officials are awaiting damage assessments before releasing more details.