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Fast-moving wildfire kills one, burns at least 20 homes in Oklahoma

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Monday, May 5, 2014, 11:47 AM -

A fast-moving wildfire destroyed at least 20 homes and killed at least one person in Oklahoma's Logan County on Sunday.

It was one of several fires to break out amid unseasonably high temperatures and windy conditions in the state, officials said. The victim was a 56-year-old man who failed to evacuate when requested, said Guthrie Fire Chief Eric Harlow.

The Guthrie blaze was about four kilometres long and up to a kilometre wide, and was burning a largely rural area.

Harlow put the fire's size at between 1,200-1,600 hectares.

"It's growing so fast it's pretty hard to estimate," Stephens said. "There are a lot of cedar trees, they have a lot of oil in them and they just explode."


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The fire was the largest of several in the state that are being fueled by temperatures in the 30s and high winds, said Keli Cain, spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management.

"They got three ingredients for a bad fire: high temperatures, high winds, and low humidity," said Daryl Williams with the National Weather Service in Norman.

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