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Wildfires Destroy Oklahoma Town

Posted by feww on August 5, 2012

Raging wildfires burning small Oklahoman towns

Extreme drought and 19 days of triple-digit temperatures have sparked at least 15 large wildfires throughout Oklahoma, devastating communities, destroying scores of homes, shutting down highways and forcing thousands to evacuate.

  • Wildfires have left the small town of Luther (pop: ~ 600) smoldering.
  • The blazes have destroyed at least 130 structures in Creek County, west of Tulsa.
  • Authorities ordered evacuations in the towns of Mannford (pop: ~3,000) and Glencoe (pop: ~ 600).
  • Thousands of others are voluntarily abandoning their homes in Creek County as out-of-control wildfires continue spreading.
  • The temperature was expected to soar to 113 degrees (45°C), said the National Weather Service.
  • Oklahoma City tied its all-time record temperature of 113 degrees set in 1936 on Friday.
  • The worsening drought and soaring heat are responsible for numerous devastating wildfires  in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Utah, Wyoming and elsewhere in the past couple of months.


Oklahoma Drought Map, July 31, 2012. Source: U.S. Drought Monitor

“Heartbreaking.”

Gov. Fallin, who toured the smoldering town of Luther on Saturday, called the devastation “heartbreaking.”

“A lot of people were at work and didn’t realize how quickly the fire was moving,” she told Reuters. “It’s emotional. For the children, it’s very emotional to lose their possessions.”

State of Emergency Declared

Gov. Fallin declared a state of emergency on Monday for all of Oklahoma’s 77 counties due to the threats caused by extreme heat and dry conditions that continue to affect the entire state.


Contiguous United States Precipitation- Week Ending August 3, 2012. Source: HPRCC

About 80 percent of Continental United States was Abnormally Dry or in Drought Condition (D0 – D4) during the week ending August 3, 2012.

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