The National Weather Service has placed red flag fire warnings over Western Oklahoma and North Texas all day Tuesday, ranking the danger of wildfires from extreme to historic.
The danger is expected to lessen Wednesday and stay low for the rest of the week as increased moisture and rains settle over the area, according to the NWS.
Temperatures in the area hit above 90 degrees Fahrenheit last week and over the weekend. Combined with under 10 percent humidity and wind gusts as high as 40 miles per hour, the weather led to more severe fire conditions than the area has seen in roughly a decade, NWS meteorologist Doug Speheger told The Associated Press.
“With these conditions wildfires can spread rapidly, present control issues for firefighters and pose a real threat to public safety,” Texas A&M Forest Service Fire Chief Mark Stanford told the AP.
Wildfires have burned more than 400,000 acres in Oklahoma and have resulted in two deaths in the past week. A man and a women died in separate incidents from causes related to wildfires.
The largest fire had covered about 245,000 and was three percent contained on Monday, the AP reported.
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