Oklahoma Rhea Fire Grows To 400000 Acres As National Guard Is Deployed

A wildfire near Woodward Okla

Map showing heat detected by a satellite on the 34 Complex and Rhea Fires in Western Oklahoma, current at 2:22 a.m. CDT April 17, 2018.

Officials from several agencies told KOKH-TV the fire was only about three percent contained.

"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.

National Weather Service Red Flag warnings are in effect for the region through at least Tuesday as temperatures reached the mid-80s on Monday with low humidity and high winds. With the most of the fire spreading northeast, many areas are still being evacuated and at least 50 homes have been destroyed.

Around 3:40 p.m. Tuesday, the Rhea Fire Incident Command requested a fire warning from NWS for the Seiling area. OFS reported more than 500 firefighters are working the Rhea Fire in Dewey County alone.

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"With these conditions wildfires can spread rapidly, present control issues for firefighters and pose a real threat to public safety", said Texas A&M Forest Service Fire Chief Mark Stanford.

"I hope that you realize that today is a historically critical day here", Beard said of the fire near Woodward that has burned about 105 square miles.

Two people have died in the Oklahoma fires, which began late last week.

In Oklahoma, temperatures are expected to soar into the 90s and winds could gust to 40 miles per hour (65 kph) or higher. Those active areas could be challenging for firefighters with the extreme weather predicted for the area Tuesday and Tuesday night.

The weather service said rain and thunderstorm chances will increase Thursday night and Friday with strong to severe storms possible in southwestern Oklahoma and western north Texas on Friday.

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