Wildfires in Oklahoma and Kansas scorch structures, prompt evacuations

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 06, 2016 10:58 AM

(Reuters) - Wildfires in Oklahoma and Kansas this week have burned through thousands of acres, scorched numerous structures and prompted hundreds of people to evacuate their homes ahead of the blazes, officials said on Wednesday.

The largest fire was the so-called "350 Complex" fire, about 130 miles (210 km) northwest of Oklahoma City, that has hit an area of about 27,500 acres (11,100 hectares) and is mostly uncontained, Oklahoma Forestry Services said.

The fire has burned through numerous structures, and the state has deployed firefighting aircraft to extinguish the blaze, the service said, adding that other areas of the state were at risk.

"As fire weather conditions deteriorate, with dry and extremely gusty winds, new fires have started in multiple counties across Oklahoma," it said.

There have been multiple wildfires in Kansas, which borders Oklahoma to the north, with the largest in Geary County, about 60 miles (100 km) west of Topeka.

A fire that burned through about 500 acres (200 hectares) in Riley County, about 30 miles (50 km) north of Geary, has been contained, the Kansas Forest Service said.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)