Oklahoma wildfires trigger emergency declaration - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Oklahoma wildfires trigger emergency declaration

Posted: Updated:
A hunter was trapped by this wildfire in Dewey County, Oklahoma. (Quincy Vagell via CNN) A hunter was trapped by this wildfire in Dewey County, Oklahoma. (Quincy Vagell via CNN)
Red Flag Warnings were issued for most of Central and Western Oklahoma. (Oklahoma Forestry Services) Red Flag Warnings were issued for most of Central and Western Oklahoma. (Oklahoma Forestry Services)

Gov. Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency in 52 Oklahoma counties on Friday after wildfires charred more than 200,000 acres across the state.

"I’m asking all Oklahomans to be vigilant and careful, and to do their part to prevent fires," Fallin said in a written statement. "Anything that can be done to minimize fires will help to keep both our firefighters and the public safe."

In Texoma, Carter, Garvin, Jefferson, Johnston, Love, Marshall, McClain, Murray, Pottawatomie, Seminole and Stephens counties are included in the emergency declaration.

A turkey hunter was badly burned but alive after becoming trapped overnight by a wildfire in northwestern Oklahoma. Oklahoma Forestry Services spokeswoman Michelle-Finch Walker said the hunter was found Friday morning and taken to a burn center in serious condition.

On Thursday, a 61-year-old man died as a result of injuries from a fire in Roger Mills County.

Walker said the blaze in Dewey County has burned about 82,000 acres.

Woodward County Emergency Management Director Matt Lehenbaur said a separate fire near Woodward has burned more than 120,000 acres and forced the evacuation of about 450 people from their homes, but no injuries are reported.

Neither of those fires had been contained.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation reported several highways were closed due to wildfires on Friday afternoon. In Beckham County, westbound lanes of Interstate 40 at Erick were off-limits to traffic, and State Highway 34 was closed from Vici south to Camargo.

The National Weather Service said dangerous fire weather conditions were expected in much of western Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Panhandle through Saturday, with low humidity and strong winds of 20-30 mph and gusts of up to 50 mph.

The weather service issued a Red Flag Warning in the counties of western Texoma; wind speeds of 30-40 mph mean any outdoor burning is likely to spread rapidly.

The Associated Press, KTEN meteorologist David Siple, and KTEN.com editor Walt Zwirko contributed to this report.

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