Apr 10, 2009 01:05 PM
Firefighters were mopping up today after wildfires swept through Texas and Oklahoma, killing two people and damaging more than 100 homes.
The Associated Press reports that a former local TV journalist, Matt Quinn, and his wife, Cathy, were killed and their son injured when their home in Montague, Tex., 80 miles northwest of Dallas, was engulfed in flames.
"Any time you have high winds and low humidity, it's just the perfect storm for wildfires, and that's what's happening here," Oklahoma Emergency Management Director Albert Ashwood said, according to the AP.
The fires, which began yesterday, were fueled by parched underbrush (more than 93 percent of Texas is experiencing a drought) and 60-mile-an-hour wind gusts. They forced the evacuations of scores of people – and led to the shutdown of part of a major highway, Interstate 35, which slices from Texas to Minnesota.
"The wind is the biggest issue, because we can't get ahead of the fires," Midwest City, Okla. Fire Marshal Jerry Lojka told the newswire. With winds not expected to subside until this afternoon, firefighters are still battling hotspots, according to the AP.
For more, see our in-depth report on wildfires.
Oklahoma prairie grass fire, 2008/woodleywonderworks via Flickr
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