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New Oklahoma Wildfire Threatens Kansas, Again

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Authorities in northwestern Oklahoma are evacuating people and businesses ahead of a wildfire spreading rapidly toward the small town of Freedom. It's only about 20 miles from the Kansas border.  Woodward County Emergency Management director Matt Lehenbauer said around 3:30 this (TUE) afternoon that the fire was burning uncontrolled about one or two hours away from Freedom, a town of about 300. It was pushed by winds gusting around 40 miles per hour.  Lehenbauer says the fire is threatening homes and an iodine-manufacturing plant. Officials don't believe the plant would be a significant explosion risk, but it could produce environmental hazards.  More than a dozen fire departments and Oklahoma Forestry Services were fighting the blaze.  Forecasters have warned of high fire danger in parts of Kansas into the evening hours because of warm, dry conditions and strong winds.  An earlier wildfire that began in Oklahoma caused extensive damage in four Kansas counties.  Barber and Comanche counties, in south-central Kansas, were the hardest hit and are now threatened again. 

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