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Wildfires Burn Thousands of Acres, Force Evacuation of Hundreds (Aug 06, 2012)

Emergency officials in Oklahoma are surveying damage from multiple wildfires in the state. Unofficial estimates from the Red Cross show more than 175 structures were destroyed in Friday’s fires.

Fire crews spent Friday night dousing hot spots and trying to limit the spread of the wildland fires that burned thousands of acres of drought parched land.

Officials are urging evacuated residents to be patient before returning home to make sure burned areas are safe.

Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel says a fire that forced the evacuation of Luther may have been arson. Authorities are still looking for a man an eyewitness says tossed burning newspapers out of a pickup truck near where the fire started.

“It’s still amazing to me that people would be as callous as to intentionally set something like this. But it, it’s part of what we have to deal with, ” said Oklahoma County Emergency Management Director David Barnes.

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