Florida Forest Service sending 20 firefighters to fight Oklahoma wildfire

  • Florida Forest Service sending 20 firefighters to fight Oklahoma wildfire

Florida Forest Service sending 20 firefighters to fight Oklahoma wildfire

In spite of the hundreds of men and women who have descended on Dewey County, it will be up to one, Mother Nature, to slow the wind and bring the much-needed rain to the Rhea Fire.

Two people have died in the Oklahoma fires, which began late last week.

National Weather Service meteorologist Doug Speheger said such conditions in the Southwest and Southern Plains have not been seen in at least a decade.

A Red Flag fire warning remains in affect for western Oklahoma, west of Garfield County, and northern Texas, with low humidity levels, warm temperatures and gusty winds combining for a risky potential for spreading fires, according to the National Weather Service.

MORTON COUNTY -Gov. Jeff Colyer, M.D., issued a verbal disaster declaration for several western Kansas counties battling wildland fires late Tuesday.

Oklahoma Forestry Services reported Tuesday that the largest of the Oklahoma fires has burned more than 388 square miles (1,005 sq. kilometers) near Leedey, about 110 miles (180 kilometers) northwest of Oklahoma City, and was about 3 percent contained.

With three massive smoke plumes billowing across more than 283,000 acres of Dewey County, firefighters and aircraft from around the country are working nonstop.

330pm - volatile wildfire weather conditions increasing across western Oklahoma. Highest winds are forecast for north of US Highway 412. And in Seiling, a flare up southeast of Seiling claimed the attention of the many new strike teams there under the U.S. Forestry Service Incident Command. Cain says the fire is still burning but no longer threatens the town. The threat was expected to be critical on Monday and increase on Tuesday. A Red Flag Warning is in effect for April 17th, from 11 am to midnight for a large portion of western Oklahoma.

Near critical fire conditions will prevail Wednesday, according to NWS, with winds gusting to 40 miles per hour in western Oklahoma.

"The winds are coming, but wet weather is supposed to be coming too, and we're hoping the wet weather will arrive", Nichols said.