Published: Sun, April 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Oklahoma wildfires force thousands to evacuate

Oklahoma wildfires force thousands to evacuate

It's just one of a series of wildfires in the state.

In Roger Mills County, more than 2,000 acres have burned in the Shaw Fire, south of Durham. Those same conditions were reported on Thursday. He was flown to the hospital to be treated.

Gov. Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency in 52 Oklahoma counties on Friday after wildfires charred more than 200,000 acres across the state.

The National Weather Service said unsafe fire weather conditions were expected in much of western Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Panhandle through Saturday, with low humidity and strong winds of 20-30 miles per hour and gusts of up to 50 miles per hour.

A brush fire was being fought Friday evening in the area of Youngstown Ridge Road in Ligonier, a Westmoreland dispatcher said.

The fires were burning on a mountain and a mesa about 15 miles (24 kilometers) northwest of Grants and started Thursday, one because of an abandoned campfire and the other from an unknown cause.

They are working with a task force in Oklahoma. "The final size is estimated to be approximately 300 acres". An additional fire is located southwest of Vici.

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Oklahoma City TV station KFOR reports that some Woodward County residents were evacuated. An additional fire southeast of Woodward that started yesterday is being monitored and is now in mop up stage.

The fire closed portions of Bungletown, Green Creek and Alberene roads and had burned about 40 acres late Thursday, fed by strong winds and dry conditions. Crews are on scene, use caution in the area.

Under the governor's executive order, which is in effect for 30 days, state agencies may make emergency purchases and acquisitions needed to expedite the delivery of resources to local jurisdictions.

The Beaver Fire Department said the fire broke out along Interstate-64 near the East Beckley exit.

Wildfire conditions are expected to worsen Friday, with the National Weather Service categorizing the threat level as historic.

Three relief funds have been set up to help wildfire victims.

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