Milder weather conditions in northwestern New Mexico could help firefighters who have been keeping a pair of wildfires on a mountain and a nearby butte largely in check despite strong winds. Relative humidity in low single digits, high temperatures and sustained winds between 25 to 35 miles per hour were expected, with gusts up to 50 miles per hour. He says the state of Colorado is taking over command of the fire. Authorities were so busy just trying to get people evacuated they weren't able to do much to fight the flames or protect property.
Elder estimates the fire was 5 to 10 percent contained by mid-day Wednesday.
New fires will likely exhibit rapid rates of spread and be resistant to control and ongoing fires like the Rhea and 34 Complex will likely experience additional growth.
There are two main fires burning: one hat's burned more than 245,000 acres near Leedey, about 110 miles northwest of Oklahoma City and another blaze that's burned almost 68,000 acres near Woodward, about 20 miles north of Leedey. Two people have died and at least 9 injured in the Oklahoma fires.
The service relaxed that fire risk warning to critical for much of the region Wednesday.
As the weather conditions made it particularly risky for residents in the area, several evacuations occurred.
Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer has issued a disaster declaration.
In Colorado, fire crews on Tuesday battled fast-moving, wind-sparked blazes that stretched from the Denver area northward and eastward toward Kansas.
The fire has killed an undetermined number of cattle in Oklahoma, but Woods County Extension Agent Greg Highfill said the number is at least in the hundreds.
Oklahoma Forestry Services says structures have been destroyed, but they are unable to assess damage because the fire is still burning.
A U.S. Forest Service commander at one of two large wildfires in Oklahoma warned firefighters Tuesday to be careful.