Wildfires – USA
Emergency crews on Tuesday struggled to contain deadly wildfires that have scorched hundreds of square miles of land in four states and forced thousands of people to flee their homes ahead of the wind-whipped flames. The fires have killed at least seven people.
The fires were burning in parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Colorado, and warnings that fire conditions were ripe were issued for Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska, as powerful thunderstorms moved through the nation’s midsection overnight, spawning dozens of tornadoes, according to the National Weather Service.
In Kansas, wildfires have burned about 625 square miles of land, said Katie Horner, the spokeswoman for the state’s Department of Emergency Management. She said the largest evacuations were in Reno County, where 10,000 to 12,000 people voluntarily left their homes Monday night. She said 66 people from the area were in shelters Tuesday in Hutchinson, which is 40 miles northwest of Wichita, as crews continued fighting fires that started over the weekend.
In Colorado, a fire in rural Logan County burned more than 45 square miles, forced the evacuation of three schools and threatened as many as 900 homes. The Logan County Emergency Management Office said at least four structures, including three homes, were destroyed.
Meanwhile, authorities issued mandatory evacuations and closed part of Interstate 75 as a wildfire burned more than 6,000 acres in Florida’s Collier County.