From Associated Press, FOXNews.com
NOBLE, Okla. â€“ The gusty, southerly winds that whipped wildfires through rural woodlands north and south of Oklahoma City started to die down early Saturday, but not before burning dozens of homes.
Hundreds of people were told Friday to leave their homes in at least four counties, while smoke and flames prompted authorities to close parts of Interstate 44, the main roadway between Oklahoma City and Tulsa, and two state highways. I-44 reopened late Friday night.
“A man refused to leave. From what I know, he wanted to protect his property, but your life has to be more valuable than property,” Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel said late Friday night.
The sheriff said at least 25 homes, a daycare center and numerous outbuildings had burned in a fire that may have been deliberately set near Luther, a town about 20 miles northeast of Oklahoma City.
Deputies were looking into reports about someone in a pickup truck who was seen throwing out newspapers that had been set on fire. By Friday night, the blaze had spread across 80 square miles, but officials said it had calmed some due to lighter winds and higher humidity.
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