Early spring and the wildfires are starting
Latest: Kansas governor declares state of disaster amid fire
KIOWA, Kan. (AP) — The Latest on wildfires in Kansas and Oklahoma (all times local):
Gov. Sam Brownback has declared a state of disaster emergency for part of south-central Kansas threatened by a wildfire.
The declaration Wednesday clears the way for state resources to assist the affected communities.
The National Weather Service says the fire that has burned nearly 110 square miles started Tuesday night near the Kansas border in Woods County, Oklahoma. Wind gusts of up to 30 mph helped spread the blaze into Barber and Comanche counties in Kansas.
The Kansas Department of the Adjutant General says the fire is threatening residents of the Barber County town of Medicine Lodge.
A statement from the department says the Medicine Lodge mayor called for voluntary evacuations in the town of 2,000 people. Two houses have been destroyed and up to 1,000 homes and businesses are in danger.
Crews are working to contain a wildfire that's burned nearly 110 square miles in rural Oklahoma and Kansas while strong winds and dry conditions increased the fire threat in neighboring states.
Oklahoma Forestry Services fire management chief Mark Goeller (GOH'-ler) said the fire continued to burn in both states late Wednesday afternoon and was not under control. An airplane was being used to dump water on the flames. Goeller said there are no injuries.
In Kansas' Comanche County, emergency management coordinator John Lehman said wind speeds were increasing and complicating efforts to fight the fire.
The National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center said parts of New Mexico and northwest Texas also are at extreme risk for wildfires because of warm, windy and dry conditions.
Authorities say a wildfire that started in Oklahoma and spread into Kansas has burned tens of thousands of acres of rural land.
The National Weather Service says the fire started Tuesday night near the Kansas border in Woods County, Oklahoma. Wind gusts of up to 30 mph helped spread the blaze into Barber and Comanche counties in Kansas.
Officials say no injuries had been reported Wednesday, and dozens of firetrucks and hundreds of firefighters are helping fight the blaze.
In Kansas, Comanche County emergency management coordinator John Lehman says about a dozen homes have been evacuated, though none has been damaged.
Forecasters say parts of New Mexico and West Texas are also at risk for wildfires.