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.
Fires in NW OK are threatening numerous towns. Wildfire is now changing direction due to wind shift. Very dangerous situation. #okfire
— George Geissler (@george_geissler) March 6, 2017
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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