Oklahoma wildfires destroy homes
Cleveland County, Oklahoma wildfire. August 3, 2012
(CNN) — Extremely hot temperatures, low humidity and strong winds helped fuel half a dozen wildfires in Oklahoma on Friday.
The largest of the fires is just south of Oklahoma City in Cleveland County, according to Jerry Lojka, spokesman for the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management.
“The metro area is not in danger, but there are still homes out there, and there are subdivisions that are in those wooded areas,” he said, adding that it’s too early to say how many homes have been lost.
“It’s almost impossible to keep up with the count at this point, but many many homes, many outbuildings and other structures,” Lojka said.
There were no immediate reports of injuries.
Video from CNN affiliate KOCO showed clouds of smoke so thick they nearly blocked a view of the actual fire. Flames curled dangerously close to what looked to be a house.
The temperature in the area Friday reached at least 110 degrees.
Smoke from a second fire is threatening to close part of Interstate 44, Lojka said. Yet another blaze is burning in Creek County, he said. Helicopters are working that fire and the Cleveland County fire.
A red flag warning is in effect for much of northern, central and southern Oklahoma through Friday night and again Saturday.
“Any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly due to the combination of very dry vegetation, very low humidities and gusty winds,” the National Weather Service said in an alert.