Firefighters from across Kansas and Oklahoma battle a major wildfire Monday night and early Tuesday morning, March 7, 2017 near Protection, Kan.
Wildfires burning in west Texas have claimed the lives of at four people.
Officials in four other states said that 400,000 acres were destroyed in Kansas, 325,000 in the Texas Panhandle and 30,000 in Colorado - not to mention the 6,000 acres burning in the Florida swamps near Naples that resulted in mandatory evacuations.
At least 600 square miles, mostly in Clark Co., have burned in Kansas as powerful wind gusts have fanned the flames. The Kansas Highway Patrol said tractor-trailer driver Corey Holt, of Oklahoma City, was killed Monday when his rig jackknifed as he tried to backup because of poor visibility on Highway 34 in Clark County, which is on Kansas' southern border with Oklahoma. About half of those structures are near Englewood, one of two communities evacuated.
There are reports of significant cattle losses as entire ranches were engulfed.
About 545 square miles also has burned in Oklahoma, where a woman had a deadly heart attack while trying to protect her farm.
Shelley Wilson remembers the Kansas horizon glowing suddenly red, and then the panicky moments, grabbing cats, the dog, her disabled son, Craig Smith.
The fire fight continues across western Oklahoma.
"Most of us are generally grumpy", she said Tuesday.
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The Eagle reports that the 500 residents of Protection in Comanche County evacuated their homes Monday evening, and Wilson officials were also encouraging residents to leave that Ellsworth County town.
A Breckenridge man is among four people who have been killed by wildfires in the Texas Panhandle.
The latest death happened in Lipscomb County, Texas.
The fire is only about 5 percent contained but the winds have died down since Monday.
According to KFDA-TV in Amarillo, three people died in Gray County while they were trying to save cattle in the area. One victim was overcome by smoke and two died from burns, said County Judge Richard Peet.
The blaze jumped over both roads and requiring three planes from the Forest Service to drop water and fire retardant material to help, according to Phillip Truitt, spokesman for the Forest Service.
"On Tuesday morning, smoldering fields and hay piles were sending throat-clogging smoke into the air", reported the Post's Jesse Paul.
The fire that claimed Koch is the largest of the three, covering 492 square miles in the northeast Panhandle near the Oklahoma border.
The fires have torched hundreds of square miles and killed at least six people.