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Wildfires Lead To Evactuations In Northwest Oklahoma

Woodward Department of Civil Defense and Homeland Security

Wildfires spread across larges swaths of northwestern Oklahoma Monday, leading to evacuation warnings for several towns.

Evacuation orders were issued for the communities of Laverne, Buffalo and Fort Supply in Woodward and Payne Counties. The evacuation order in Fort Supply only applied to community members and not to the William S. Key Correctional Center, according to Matt Lehenbaur, the emergency management director for the city of Woodward.

The Oklahoman reports between 70,000 and 100,000 acres have burned across Woodward, Harper and Beaver Counties. Fires have also spread in the neighboring states of Kansas, Texas and Colorado.

As of 11:30 p.m. Monday night, all roads were open in Woodward County and all evacuation orders had expired, according to the Woodward County Department of Homeland Defense & Civil Security. However, emergency officials urged residents in evacuated areas not to return home last night.

Another wildfire burned part of Payne and Logan Counties in north central Oklahoma on Monday.

 

A Red Flag Warning continues today across Alfalfa, Blaine, Caddo, Craig, Creek, Delaware, Dewey, Ellis, Garfield, Grant, Harper, Kay, Kingfisher, Logan, Major, Noble, Nowata, Osage, Ottawa, Pawnee, Payne, Rogers, Tulsa, Washington, Woods, and Woodward Counties.

 

The National Weather Service reports smoke from the northwestern Oklahoma fires will cause problems for people with respiratory problems, and urges those people to stay indoors.

 

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Jacob McCleland spent nine years as a reporter and host at public radio station KRCU in Cape Girardeau, Mo. His stories have appeared on NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered, Here & Now, Harvest Public Media and PRI’s The World. Jacob has reported on floods, disappearing languages, crop duster pilots, anvil shooters, Manuel Noriega, mule jumps and more.
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