Wildfires cause evacuations in two Oklahoma towns

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 23, 2011 10:23 PM
Wildfires cause evacuations in two Oklahoma towns

OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - Wildfires caused evacuations in two northeast Oklahoma towns on Wednesday evening as dry and windy conditions continued to make the state vulnerable to sudden blazes.

Fire threatened 40 homes near the small town of Prue in Osage County as well as homes in the Oak Park area of Bartlesville, the county seat of Washington County, said Michelann Ooten, spokeswoman for the state's Department of Emergency Management.

Earlier in the day, Blackhawk and Chinook helicopters deployed by the National Guard dumped water on wild fires in three Oklahoma counties, she said.

A ban on outdoor burning remains in effect in much of the state after wild fires two weeks ago led Governor Mary Fallin to declare a state of emergency.

(Reporting by Steve Olafson; Editing by Jerry Norton)