US Plains wildfires leave thousands of cattle dead

Panhandle wildfire smoke arrives in the Big Country with early morning cold front

Panhandle wildfire smoke arrives in the Big Country with early morning cold front

He said the volunteer fire chief, Greg Ellis, was back at his "normal job" at a co-op elevator.

Eight people have been treated for breathing problems from wildfires in north and western Oklahoma that have scorched more than 500 square miles (1,300 square km), state officials said. Wallace died from smoke inhalation while the fire severely burned Crockett and Everett, the judge said.

Monitoring is crucial because the ground is "extremely dry", and it was possible that sparks from a smoldering stump could re-ignite the fire, said John Lehman, the emergency manager in Comanche County, where 234 square miles has burned.

The Starbuck Fire in Harper and Beaver counties has triggered evacuations and destroyed "numerous residences, secondary structures, livestock and other infrastructure".

The amount of Kansas and Oklahoma in what's classified as modified or severe drought also has intensified, with the entire eastern half of Colorado in various degrees of drought, according to the Nebraska center, which tracks US drought conditions weekly.

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A third wildfire south in Gray County and measuring almost 145 square miles is 25 percent contained.

The Texas A&M Forest Service said a fire measuring about 46 square miles near Amarillo was fully contained by late Tuesday afternoon.

Airtankers out of Amarillo and Abiliene assisted in putting out the fire.

An estimated 10,240 acres have burned in Rooks County.

Four people died Monday night in wildfires that had consumed almost half a millon acres and continued to burn across the Texas Panhandle into Tuesday evening.

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"The rule in volunteer fire departments across northwest Oklahoma have dedicated themselves in lives and property, and that has never been more true than what we've seen in their efforts in the past couple of days", Daily said.

"Unfortunately, it (cattle loss) has been in the thousands, but there is not a specific number on the amount of cattle that have been killed", Katie Horner, an emergency management spokeswoman in No.3 cattle state Kansas, said in a social media post. The Kansas Highway Patrol said tractor-trailer driver Corey Holt, of Oklahoma City, was killed Monday when his rig jackknifed as he tried to backup because of poor visibility on Highway 34 in Clark County, which is on Kansas' southern border with Oklahoma.

Authorities say Oklahoma woman has fatal heart attack fighting blaze, raising four-state wildfire death toll to six.

The Oklahoma-based Storm Prediction Center says powerful wind gusts that fanned the flames in Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas should ease to about 10 to 20 miles per hour on Wednesday.

Sam Brownback is calling in help from other states to relieve firefighters, and Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has declared a state of emergency.

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The fire that originated in Gray County is now burning in Wheeler County as of 11:18 p.m. The Perryton fire burned over 315,000 acres. Nearby residents were warned to be ready to evacuate if the fire advances.

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