Crews fight fires in Texas, Colorado, Kansas and Oklahoma

Firefighters from across the state battle wildfires Monday night and Tuesday morning near the towns of Protection and Ashland. Thousands of acres were burned by wind driven fires

"Conditions are very risky today", said George Geissler, director of Oklahoma Forestry Services.

Most of the burned land is in Kansas, where about 2,000 firefighters have been battling a series of blazes that consumed more than 1,000 square miles and damaged or destroyed dozens of structures.

Numerous grass fires grew rapidly on Monday due to dry weather and parched prairie land in the Texas Panhandle, north and western Oklahoma and southern Kansas. That larger fire was responsible for a death on Monday, authorities said Tuesday without providing further details.

Meanwhile, a fire near Higgins prompted a city-wide evacuation order but the fire passed the city and no homes were reported lost.

The first thing Richele Calvert told her kids as the wildfire approached was "Pack up" to evacuate. The fire was 61 percent contained on Tuesday.

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The Perryton fire is burning in Libscomb and Ochiltree counties where the Texas A&M Forest Service reports the blaze is only 5 percent contained and has ignited 100,000 acres.

Four helicopters equipped with 660-gallon Bambi buckets launched at daylight today to continue to assist affected counties with fire suppression.

Most of the fires seen are prescribed burns.

The blazes have scorched about 650,000 acres (over 260,000 hectares) in more than 20 counties, killing one person, forcing the evacuation of thousands and leading to significant livestock deaths, state officials said.

The Kansas Highway Patrol says 39-year-old Corey Holt, of Oklahoma City, jackknifed Monday while trying to back up his tractor-trailer on highway 34 in Clark County because of poor visibility and dust from the fires.

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Another fire, the Lefors East Fire, has burned almost 100,000 in Gray County.

In Logan County, Colo., a wildfire destroyed at least three homes, evacuated three schools and triggered pre-evacuation notices for almost 1,000 more homes, county officials said. Many houses stood undamaged but were only yards away from landscapes where hundreds of acres had burned. The woman suffered a heart attack while helping her husband fight a fire in Harper County. At one corner in the mostly rural-looking area, fire hoses lay partially burned beside a fire hydrant. Gov. Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency for 22 counties.

Another 235 square miles have burned in neighboring Comanche County, Kansas.

Residents of several nearby communities, including recreational vehicle parks in Naples, have been evacuated.

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