Dozens of Wildfires Burn Hundreds of Square Miles in Oklahoma, Texas

April 16, 2018

Strong winds are fueling more than two dozen wildfires burning across Oklahoma and Texas.

Authorities say one blaze in western Oklahoma is estimated to be nearly 40 miles across at its widest point.

Oklahoma Forestry Services spokeswoman Michelle Finch-Walker says 14 wildfires in the state have charred more than 572 square miles.

The largest is in Dewey County, where more than 375 square miles have been charred. Hundreds of people have been evacuated.

There also are at least a dozen wildfires in Texas, including a 12 square mile fire in Wheeler County in the Panhandle.

Texas A&M Forest Service fire weather analyst Scott Breit says wind gusts of up to 55 mph were fueling the fires on Saturday.

On sunday, residents were ordered to evacuate from a small southwestern Oklahoma town due to a wildfire threat.

The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management said that the wildfire is threatening Martha, a town of about 150 people that’s roughly 120 miles southwest of Oklahoma City. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

Authorities say another wildfire that began in Texas and spread to Oklahoma on Friday was still burning Sunday. Firefighters in both states are battling the blaze, which has scorched about 42 square miles of land.

The Oklahoma Forestry Services says more than 500 firefighters, air tankers and helicopters are working to suppress another wildfire in northwestern Oklahoma that has burned more than 375 square miles of land.

The Oklahoma Insurance Department (OID) has said it stands ready to assist Oklahomans impacted by the wildfires. The agency said OID field representatives and Anti-Fraud investigators are in affected areas placing yard signs listing the agency’s consumer assistance phone number, 1-800-522-0071. Victims with insurance claims questions are encouraged to call.

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