Extreme Weather Paves Way For Oklahoma, Kansas Fires

Saturday, April 9th 2016, 1:54 pm
By: News On 6

An extreme combination of weather has created ideal fire conditions that have contributed to a spate of massive blazes in Kansas and Oklahoma.

Officials say grasslands were unusually lush after a wet 2015. But the unusually dry winter that followed has turned the vegetation into fuel for wildfires. Hundreds of thousands of acres have burned in the two states.

Oklahoma state climatologist Gary McManus said last year was the wettest on record in the state. But since January, rainfall in Oklahoma has been about 40 percent below normal.

Oklahoma Forestry Services used air tankers along with a number of firefighters on the ground to fight the blaze as it roared across northwest Oklahoma.

4/6/2016 Related Story: Wildfire Burns Almost 56,000 Acres In NW Oklahoma

Officials say similar conditions are affecting Kansas, particularly in the southwest part of the state. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.