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Fire chances rising in Western Oklahoma as drought conditions persist

Plumes of dark gray smoke billow sidewise across dry-looking grass. A billboard says "NEXT EXIT: CHEROKEE Exit 71"
Oklahoma Forestry Services
One of the Oklahoma wildfires that burned earlier this month.

Oklahomans can brace for another hike in fire danger at the end of this week and on into the next.

Although drought conditions continue to improve across the state, the panhandle and northwestern Oklahoma remain in exceptional or extreme drought, putting them particularly at risk for fires.

Oklahoma Forestry Services said most of western Oklahoma has gone more than 40 days since receiving any moisture. In the panhandle, Texas County has gone almost eight months.

U.S. Drought Monitor

As a cold front blows more dry air across the state on Friday, Forestry Services said fire-favoring conditions will reach “a crescendo.”

People in Dumas, Texas, 60 miles southwest of Guymon, coordinated a regional prayer for more rain on Tuesday. But the forecast for the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles is still clear and breezy for now.

Graycen Wheeler is a reporter covering water issues at KOSU as a corps member with Report for America.
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