Wildfires ravage parts of Texas, Oklahoma, forcing evacuations

Southwest

(NewsNation) — Wildfires in Texas and Oklahoma have been ravaging the southwestern part of the nation over the past couple of days, causing evacuations as drought and warmer weather brought on by climate change is worsening wildfire danger.

Texas’ mandatory evacuation order was lifted Wednesday after achieving about 10% containment, even as the threat of fires remained high, local authorities reported.

The mandate was ordered after the Chalk Mountain wildfire in North Texas Tuesday night — the largest active Texas wildfire at the time — burned about 9 square miles and destroyed at least a dozen structures, Texas A&M Forest Services said.

It was not clear how many of the structures were homes, Forest Services spokesperson Mary Leathers said, but estimates say at least 6,000 acres were blackened.

Additionally, the National Weather Service issued a red flag fire warning and excessive heat warnings for western and eastern Oklahoma Wednesday as the Blaine County wildfire, which started last Thursday, scorched thousands of acres.

Local authorities reported approximately eight homes were evacuated Wednesday evening in the southeast part of Mangum, Oklahoma, causing the need for air support to combat the flames.

No injuries have been reported as a result of the fires.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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