Rain giving firefighters the upper hand on western Oklahoma wildfires

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DEWEY COUNTY, Okla. – Rain that moved through the state gave firefighters an extra hand to gain control of wildfires that have wreaked havoc on western Oklahoma.

For the past two weeks, firefighters from across the country have been battling the 34 Complex fire in Woodward County. The blaze began on April 12 as three fires in Woodward and Harper counties subsequently burned together as a result of the high winds and low humidity.

As strong winds continued to push the fires toward dry grasses and brush, firefighters from across the country came to help. Fire crews and equipment from Georgia, West Virginia, Tennessee, Washington, California, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, New Mexico, Utah, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arizona, Florida, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Virginia, Mississippi, and Louisiana came to fight the blaze.

In all, the 34 Complex fire has burned 62,481 acres and is about 98 percent contained.

Some fire crews were then transferred to Dewey County after the Rhea Fire began to spread.

The Rhea Fire, which is the largest wildfire in the state, has burned over 286,000 acres. After rain moved through the area, officials say the blaze is now 99 percent contained. Currently, there are 190 fire personnel assigned to the fire, but officials say they plan to start sending those crews home soon.

Anyone affected by the Rhea Fire is encouraged to go to the Woodward Conference Center on April 27 and April 28 to learn about relief services.

If you have experienced property damage as a result of the Rhea Fire, submit your information to Oklahoma Emergency Management.


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