Oklahoma Rhea Fire: Pictures Show 253,000-Acre Wildfire Near Seiling

Wildfires continued to burn in Oklahoma Wednesday as emergency responders from all over the state were deployed to combat the flames. The Rhea Fire, in the Western part of the state, had spread to some 253,000 acres by Wednesday afternoon. Pictures from the scene showed the raging wildfires consuming land near Seiling, a small town in the Northwestern part of the state.

The Rhea Fire was only about three percent contained, while the 34 Complex wildfire, which consumed some 67,000 acres, was about 45 percent contained. Smaller fires, like the Laverne Fire in Beaver and Harper Counties, and the Hooker Fire in Texas County, also continued to burn, according to KFOR-TV. The Laverne Fire, at 100 acres, was zero percent contained. The Hooker Fire, at 179 acres, was 90 percent contained, the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry reported.

At least two people were killed as a result of the fires in Oklahoma, the Associated Press reported.

The Dewey County Sheriff's Office said that mandatory evacuation orders were not in effect for the town of Seiling, but urged residents to "take precautionary measures and move out of town ahead of the fire." Elsewhere, north of Highway 270 in Major County, residents were evacuated as the fire was "moving quickly Northeast out of control."

"Our goal in this has been to save lives first, homes second and work on containment," Dewey County Sheriff's Office Clay Sander told KFOR-TV. "As fast as it's been moving, we're hopeful that we'll be able to save lives and houses, but that also plays into people being aware of their conditions."

Portions of roadways across the state, including U.S. Highway 270 and State Highway 51, were closed by the fire, according to the Daily Ardmoreite.

A combination of weather, including low humidity, high temperature and strong winds, joined to create near perfect conditions for the fire to flourish. A burn ban remained in effect for all of the western part of the state Wednesday.

"With these conditions, wildfires can spread rapidly, present control issues for firefighters and pose a real threat to public safety," said Texas A&M Forest Service Fire Chief Mark Stanford, according to the AP.

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A firefighter works to control the Rhea fire near Seiling, Oklahoma, April 17, 2018. REUTERS/Nick Oxford
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The Rhea fire rages behind a wind farm near Seiling, Oklahoma, April 17, 2018. REUTERS/Nick Oxford
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The Rhea fire burns through a grove of red cedar trees near Seiling, Oklahoma, April 17, 2018. REUTERS/Nick Oxford
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The Rhea fire causes the the fuses on a power line to explode near Seiling, Oklahoma, April 17, 2018. REUTERS/Nick Oxford
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The Rhea fire burns in the distance behind a wind farm near Seiling, Oklahoma, April 17, 2018. REUTERS/Nick Oxford
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The Rhea fire burns through a grove of red cedar trees near Seiling, Oklahoma, April 17, 2018. REUTERS/Nick Oxford