Published: Thu, April 19, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Dewey County Sheriff: 50 homes have burned in Rhea wildfire

Dewey County Sheriff: 50 homes have burned in Rhea wildfire

Gusty winds and low humidity in drought-stricken areas will create risky fire conditions in parts of Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas, according to the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma.

The National Weather Service said Wednesday that fire conditions remain critical in northwestern Oklahoma and the Panhandle, the eastern half of the Texas Panhandle and in southwestern Kansas.

In Oklahoma, temperatures were expected to soar into the 90s with winds gusting to 40 miles per hour or higher.

Another fire has burned about 105 square miles (272 sq. kilometers) near Woodward, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of the larger fire in Leedey, and is about 45 percent contained, according to the forestry service.

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Emergency management officials say a large wildfire that began in Colorado and crossed into western Kansas was contained Tuesday night.

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

Notices warning residents of several subdivisions in the area to be ready to evacuate their homes at a moment's notice have been lifted and an evacuation center in Grants closed.

A state of emergency has been issued for 52 counties.

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Oklahoma Forestry companies claims constructions are ruined, but they are unable to assess damage as the flame is still burning.

In Colorado, fire crews on Tuesday battled fast-moving, wind-sparked blazes that stretched from the Denver area northward and eastward toward Kansas.

And meteorologists are warning of unsafe, life-threatening wildfire conditions in parts of the Southwest and Southern Plains, calling it a "historically critical day" for firefighters.

Another wind-whipped wildfire destroyed five homes and several outbuildings east of Pueblo and forced 200 families from their homes.

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