Oklahoma, Texas Wildfires Destroy Dozens of Homes

VIDEO: High winds have helped scorch about 6,200 acres of land west of Dallas.
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Hundreds of people in Texas and Oklahoma are fleeing their homes today as fast-burning wildfires, which have already destroyed more than 25 homes, burn throughout the neighboring states.

A fire fueled by dry and windy conditions broke out in Oklahoma City Tuesday, consuming more than 1,500 acres of a heavily wooded section of the city, fire officials told the Associated Press.

The fire forced hundreds of residents to evacuate, quickly destroyed 10 to 12 homes and left more than 7,000 homes and businesses in the area without power Tuesday as utility poles went up in a blaze.

Two injuries were reported, including a woman who was overcome by smoke and a firefighter who was treated for what may have been heat exhaustion, fire department officials said.

Air tankers and helicopters were brought in to help fight the fires, which had been largely contained by Tuesday night. The exact cause of the blaze has not been determined.

In Texas, firefighters worked through the night Tuesday to make progress on a fast-moving blaze in the state's northern section that has already destroyed at least 25 homes in the resort community of Possum Kingdom Lake, about 75 miles west of Fort Worth.

"There are burned foundations all around here," Jim Douglas of ABC affiliate WFAA-TV reported Tuesday from inside the fire zone . "These apartments are clearly going to go to the ground. Volunteer firefighters are trying to save those homes."

The fire began early in the day Tuesday and had spread to an estimated 7,500 acres in Palo Pinto County by late Tuesday night, Texas Forest Service spokesman John Nichols told WFAA.

The fire comes just four months after massive blazes in roughly the same area scorched hundreds of thousands of acres and destroyed 160 homes.

Just as in Oklahoma, the exact cause of the blaze in Texas is not yet known.

Officials described conditions there as parched and dry, thanks to a summer heat wave and drought, that left the Forth Worth area with the "perfect fuel" for a wildfire to spread.

"We're in severe drought conditions, so just the tiniest little spark can start a wildfire," Texas Forest Service spokeswoman April Saginor told the Associated Press.

The fire forced part of a state highway in the area to be shutdown because of tall flames and huge plumes of smoke, officials said.

Two groups of elementary school students attending a YMCA camp at nearby Possum Kingdom Lake also had to be evacuated, although camp officials said the children were never in danger because the site is across the lake from the flames and the wind was blowing in the opposite direction.

Three dozen fire departments, totaling more than 200 firefighters in all, were deployed to fight the blaze, and spent Tuesday fighting winds of up to 25mph and triple-digit temperatures.

The Texas Forest Service also assigned 10 aircraft to battle the fire, which remained largely uncontained overnight.

The only known injury to date in the Texas blaze was a man who tried unsuccessfully to help save a neighbor's home from the approaching wall of fire. The man's injuries were said to not be life-threatening.

Officials were expecting a more accurate map of the fire's path Wednesday morning, Texas Forest Service spokesman John Nichols told the Associated Press.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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