Oklahoma declares state of emergency as wildfires spread

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Armendariz said that the county will continue to monitor the fire in hopes that it does not cross into New Mexico.

Peet, the county's top administrator, said one of the three apparently died of smoke inhalation late Monday while the other two suffered severe burns and died while being taken to hospitals.

Estimates show between 200,000 and 300,000 acres have already burned in Beaver, Harper and Woodward counties alone, where risky fire conditions are expected to continue tonight and tomorrow.

The Dumas Complex Fire, in Potter County near the city of Amarillo, ignited and spread rapidly with the winds gusting in excess of 50 miles per hour. A Potter County judge ordered mandatory evacuations of the area Monday evening, and 71 homes - as well as several businesses - were evacuated, according to Capt. John Coffee with the Potter County Sheriff's Office.

Wildfires spread across larges swaths of northwestern Oklahoma Monday, leading to evacuation warnings for several towns.

A third, smaller fire near Amarillo was about 75 percent contained.

New estimates indicate Kansas wildfires have burned more than 1,000 square miles, up from 625 square miles.

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Wildfires burning in west Texas have claimed the lives of at four people. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, says the Denver Post.

Forest Service spokesman Phillip Truitt said as many as four firefighters were hurt battling the fires Monday.

A Department of Emergency Management spokesperson has reported fires in at least nine counties. The Kansas Highway Patrol said Corey Holt, of Oklahoma City, died Monday when his tractor-trailer jackknifed as he tried to back up because of poor visibility on southern Kansas highway, and he succumbed to smoke after getting out of his vehicle. Officials in Gray County and from the Forest Service confirmed that no known buildings were lost in the fires. Wind gusts were reported around 50 miles per hour with low humidity.

CNN reports that a 63-year-old Oklahoma woman died of a heart attack while fighting wildfires in alongside her husband in Harper County, Oklahoma. "The Northwest Oklahoma Complex Fire, as well as other fires around the state, are pushing resources to their limits, and the last thing we need is to have additional fires".

One-hundred thousand acres have burned so far in Texas.

FEMA has approved Federal Fire Management Assistance Grants for the Clark, Comanche, Ellsworth, Ford, Lincoln, Ness, Rooks and Russell County fires.

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