August 5, 2012 – Residents of Luther, Oklahoma returned to what was once their town on Saturday. Most of the residents sifted through their belongings trying to salvage what was left after a raging wildfire leveled much the town. Two more towns nearby had to be evacuated as the fire approached.
Luther is about 25 miles north of Oklahoma City and the fire destroyed more than five dozen buildings and homes before some sort of control was gained by firefighters. On Saturday, there were a number of fires still burning throughout the state of Oklahoma.
The fires include one that is very large in the northeastern part of the state in Creek County. Officials said the fire had burned over 78 square miles. Many residents around the fires in different parts of the state have had to be evacuated and sent to shelters.
No serious injuries from the fires have been reported by authorities. Law enforcement said they believe the fire that devastated the town of Luther was set intentionally, while they said the causes of all the other fires was undetermined.
The Sheriff’s Department of Oklahoma County said it was searching for a person in a black pickup who is said to have thrown burning newspapers out the vehicles window. No suspects have been arrested, but sheriff deputies continue to search.
The unseasonable drought has helped the fires to spread much easier through open, flat areas.