Western Oklahoma Wildfires Kill 2, Force Evacuations

Apr 16, 2018

Fire crews worked through the weekend to contain a dozen wildfires in western and northwestern Oklahoma. Authorities say the fires killed two people and injured seven others.

Many of the fires ignited last week. Gusty winds and low humidity meant the flames spread rapidly through drought-stricken trees and brush, torching homes, buildings and more than 300,000 acres.

Emergency management officials say a 61-year-old man died from fire-related injuries near the town of Leedey, and a woman was killed in her car outside a home near Seiling.

In a briefing, state fire management chief Mark Goeller said firefighters focused on specific hotspots because critical fire conditions could worsen this week.

"(We're) really wanting to concentrate on those areas where we have heavy fuels and the potential for the fire to escape and continue to growth."

Officials evacuated the towns of Vici, Seiling, Taloga and Putnam, due to the fires.

Last week, Governor Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency for 52 counties.