The Latest: Firefighting crews contain Kansas wildfires

The Latest: Firefighting crews contain Kansas wildfires
Wildfires burn in Southern El Paso County with one of them prompting mandatory evacuation orders, as seen from Hanover County on Tuesday April 17, 2018. Fire crews are fighting several new wind-swept wildfires around Colorado as hurricane-force winds also kick up dust, topple trucks and close highways in the state. (Dougal Brownlie/The Gazette via AP)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Latest on wildfires burning in the Southwest and Southern Plains states (all times local):

8:45 a.m.

Officials say fires that crossed from Colorado into Kansas have been contained.

Katie Horner, a state emergency management spokeswoman, said Wednesday that some structures have been destroyed but that state officials are awaiting damage assessments before releasing more details.

Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer has issued a disaster declaration. It isn’t clear how much land has burned there. Horner says no injuries have been reported.

The fire risk is dropping in Kansas, where temperatures have dropped from highs in the lower to mid-80s (27-30 Celsius) to around 60 (15 Celsius). Wind gusts of 40 mph (64 kph) are forecast, half as strong as on Tuesday. Buller said the fire risk has shifted south into western Oklahoma.

In Colorado, fire crews on Tuesday battled fast-moving, wind-sparked blazes that stretched from the Denver area northward and eastward toward Kansas.

High winds and gusts up to 80 mph (130 kph) blasted the state, tipping tractor-trailers, uprooting trees, hurling furniture and whipping up dust.


8:30 a.m.

Firefighters are battling massive wildfires that have destroyed homes and other buildings in parts of Colorado, Kansas and Oklahoma.

The blazes are fueled by gusting winds, low humidity and drought-stricken land. One fire that started in Colorado crossed into Kansas on Tuesday night, prompting the evacuation of 90 homes. In western Oklahoma, homes in Oakwood and Seiling were evacuated Tuesday because of another fire.

Oklahoma Forestry Services says structures have been destroyed, but they are unable to assess damage because the fire is still burning. In southern Colorado, five homes and several outbuildings were destroyed Tuesday.

The smoke from the fires in western Oklahoma is so heavy that firefighters more than 100 miles (160 kilometers) away in Oklahoma City told residents to avoid calling 911 unless they see flames.