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1,000 evacuate as wildfire razes Oklahoma homes

Raw: Oklahoma Wildfire Growing Quickly

May. 5, 2014 8:49 AM EDT

GUTHRIE, Okla. (AP) - Firefighters worked through the night and into early Monday to battle a large wildfire that destroyed at least six homes and left one person dead after a controlled burn spread out of control in central Oklahoma.

The wildfire broke out Sunday afternoon near Guthrie and by 9 p.m. had burned an estimated 4 to 6 square miles of land as well as several homes, Guthrie Fire Department Chief Eric Harlow said. Aerial television footage shows the fire still burning at daybreak Monday and Harlow said the fire was about 75 percent contained.

About 1,000 people were evacuated from homes in the city about 35 miles north of Oklahoma City Sunday, according to the fire department. Harlow said a 56-year-old man who did not leave was found dead in his home Sunday night.

The Guthrie Fire Department said six homes were destroyed and that the number of damaged or destroyed homes was expected to rise Monday. Fire department crews were assessing the fire and damage by helicopter at daybreak Monday.

Tabitha Diamond, who lives a few miles from Guthrie, told KOCO-TV that she was returning from a music festival in Noble when she saw the flames and sped home. The fire missed her place but destroyed a nearby trailer home.

"It didn't get close enough, but it got too close," she said.

The American Red Cross set up a shelter at a church in Guthrie for those affected by the fire.

High winds and dry conditions fueled several wildfires in Oklahoma on Sunday, and those conditions were expected to persist Monday. The National Weather Service predicted a high temperature of 100 degrees in Guthrie on Monday, with winds gusting up to 31 mph.

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Mike May 05 2014 at 10:39 AM

God really does hate Oklahoma.

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mngnman May 05 2014 at 11:12 AM

evangelicans worst fear hell has come to Oklahoma

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Sandie May 05 2014 at 11:12 AM

With the dry/drought conditions that exist in this state, this was a VERY STUPID move to allow for a controlled burn. There has not been enough rain to remotely consider a cigarette being tossed out a window not to start a fire. Shame on those who permitted this so called "controlled" burn. They also failed to observe the wind conditions for that day. Stupid, stupid STUPID!

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Muscles May 05 2014 at 11:21 AM

Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe says Climate Change is a hoax. He's a fool as are most of the people in Oklahoma.

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1 reply
mabjkas Muscles May 05 2014 at 11:45 AM

Did you read the article? A CONTROLLED BURN got out of control. What the hell does this have to do with the senator?

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