Travel News April 17, 2018
Wildfires Are Ripping Through Parts Of Oklahoma And It’s Truly Devastating
The Sooner State has been experiencing wildfires that are sadly devastating parts of Western Oklahoma and making history. These conditions are unlike any others that local residents have seen in a decade, and so far two people from the western half of the state have died as this natural disaster continues to grow.
A destructive combination of heavy winds, high temperatures and low humidity, the conditions in the western areas of Oklahoma have created the perfect storm for wildfires to further brew. Out in Roger Mills County, a 61-year-old man died just south of Leedey on Thursday when the fires first began, while a woman also reportedly died at her home in her car near Seiling. It has also been reported by the Oklahoma State Department of Health that heat-related and smoke inhalation injures have been sustained by other local residents.
Out of all the fires burning in the state, the Rhea Fire has continued to be the most heartbreaking. Now burning more than 245,000 acres, the Rhea Fire originally began out in Dewey County, and has spread to both Custer and Woodward Counties. Another wildfire has also been burning just north of Leedey, destroying nearly 70,000 acres of land.
Sadly, the spreading of these wildfires is only expected to get worse. On Tuesday, winds around Oklahoma are due to increase, with the state expecting the wildfires to spread even further. Temperatures are set to reach up to the 90s with extremely low humidity and rapid winds reaching up to 40 mph.
The good news is that while things are due to get worse on Tuesday, wet weather is set to arrive later in the week. According to weather reports, on both Thursday evening and Friday, areas of Western Oklahoma are expecting rain and thunderstorms that will hopefully help manage the wildfires.
So, what should you know for the time being? The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Fire Warning for almost the entire western half of Oklahoma for Tuesday. A State of Emergency is also currently in effect for more than 50 of the state’s counties due to the wildfires that are continuing to rage. Officials are also discouraging residents from doing any outdoor burning or participating in any activities that could start a fire, such as tossing cigarettes outside.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone currently affected by these wildfires in Oklahoma. To read more about recent updates on the wildfires and how to keep yourself safe,