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Wildfire destroys 5 homes in southern Colorado

19 April 2018

On Tuesday, the National Weather Service warned that much of New Mexico, parts of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas were at an extreme risk of wildfires, due to a heady mix of hot, dry weather and strong winds, in some places gusting up to 80 miles per hour.

Weather service meteorologist Doug Speheger said the forecast represents the most potential for the spread of wildfires in the past 10 years of a database that considers a variety of factors.

In Oklahoma, temperatures were expected to soar into the 90s with winds gusting to 40 miles per hour or higher.

Days after a fire ravaged the small town of Martha, cleanup continues, along with efforts to help victims recover.

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Just before 4 p.m., the city of Seiling and residents along and east of US 60 and along and near USA 270 southeast of Seiling were told to evacuate by the Dewey County sheriff, Cain said. One fire which were only available in Colorado spanned into Kansas on Tuesday evening.

The second largest fire - the 34 Complex fire in Woodward County - continued scorching across about 68,000 acres and still stood at 45 percent containment as of Tuesday morning, forestry officials said.

Two people have died in the Oklahoma fires, which began late last week. And thousands of acres have burned in northwest Oklahoma since Thursday including fires in Dewey and Woodward counties.

In Colorado, fire crews on Tuesday battled fast-moving, wind-sparked blazes that stretched from the Denver area northward and eastward toward Kansas.

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"We're out there strengthening fire lines. widening lines to make sure they're in real good shape with the wind that is on the horizon", said spokesman Todd Schroeder at the scene of what's known as the Rhea Fire near Leedey. Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer and Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin have issued disaster declarations.

Oklahoma Forestry Services says structures have been destroyed, but they are unable to assess damage because the fire is still burning.

Notices warning residents of several subdivisions in the area to be ready to evacuate their homes at a moment's notice have been lifted and an evacuation center in Grants closed.

Firefighters are battling massive wildfires that have destroyed homes and other buildings in parts of Colorado, Kansas and Oklahoma.

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Wildfire destroys 5 homes in southern Colorado