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Hundreds Flee as Wildfire Kills One, Destroys Several Homes in Oklahoma

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  • Oklahoma wildifes
    (Photo: Screengrab/ABC News 17/Fox 22 KQFX)
    A blaze that started as a controlled burn quickly got out of hand and turned into a fast-moving wildfire that destroyed at least 20 homes and killed at least one person in Oklahoma's Logan County on Sunday, May 4, 2014. Image taken from aerial video by ABC News 17.
By Anugrah Kumar, Christian Post Contributor
May 5, 2014|8:24 am

Hundreds of people had to flee Sunday after a deadly wildfire burning across 4,000 acres killed a 56-year-old man and destroyed several homes in Oklahoma, according to officials, who said the fire is 75 percent contained but still threatens at least 150 more homes.

At least 1,000 people have been evacuated from their homes in Logan County near Guthrie since Sunday evening, as more than 150 homes continue to be threatened by the fast-moving wildfire, officials said early Monday.

The wildfire started Sunday after a controlled burn got out of hand because of heat and high winds, The Associated Press quoted Guthrie Fire Department Chief Eric Harlow as saying. By the night, it had burned about 6 square miles of land, as well as several homes, he added.

A 56-year-old man, who had refused to evacuate, died in his mobile home in rural Logan County after the blazed passed through that area, according to KOKH-TV.

"It's a very large fire and we're trying to get it contained," Guthrie Fire Captain Dale Haggard told Reuters.

"It's growing so fast it's pretty hard to estimate," Logan County Chief Sheriff's Deputy Richard Stephens told CNN. "There are a lot of cedar trees, they have a lot of oil in them and they just explode."

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"At this hour the east, west and southern boundaries of this fire are under control but still burning in areas," Harlow was quoted as saying. "The northern boundary of the fire is of most concern right now between Prairie Grove and Industrial. … Danger area throughout this evening is Midwest Boulevard to Westminister Rd. south of Highway 105."

Many resident had to be treated for smoke inhalation and heat exhaustion Sunday.

The American Red Cross has set up a shelter for affected people at a community church in Guthrie.

The Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief, which is monitoring the situation, has said it is ready to provide help if and when required.

The First Assembly of God church in Guthrie is also opening up to residents who need shelter and water, according to News9.com.

While firefighters fought the wildfire throughout the night, specialist wildfire teams with bulldozers, fire engines and aircraft from the Oklahoma Forestry Services were on their way early Monday.

People have been advised to stay out of the area from Midwest Boulevard to Westminster Boulevard south of State Highway 105 while firefighters continued to try to get the fire under control, according to The Oklahoman.

 

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