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Oklahoma governor tours town devastated by wildfires

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin tours neighborhood devastated by fire in Harrah
  • Fallin has declared a state of emergency in all of Oklahoma's 77 counties
  • Officials say 40 houses destroyed in Oklahoma County

(CNN) -- A day after wildfires swept across central Oklahoma, Gov. Mary Fallin on Saturday surveyed the damage inflicted on one of the state's hardest hit communities.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with all Oklahomans who have been impacted by these fires," said Fallin in a prepared statement after touring Linda Lane in the small town of Harrah. "We know homes, as well as other property, have been lost and we will work to do everything we can to help Oklahomans during their time in need."

Fallin visited Harrah as firefighters continued to battle rekindled blazes in the town of less than 6,000 residents, according to a news release. Fallin's visit to the community, which is located about 15 miles east of Oklahoma City, came a day after the governor declared a state of emergency in all of Oklahoma's 77 counties.

By late Saturday, all of the fires, excluding revived blazes in Harrah, Goldsby and Choctaw, had been contained, according to the news release.

Public safety officials said Saturday that 40 houses were destroyed in Oklahoma County. The fires destroyed more than a dozen homes in the Choctaw and Midwest City area, another 12 in Harrah and 4 homes and 10 outbuildings in Shawnee.

All three towns are on the eastern outskirts of Oklahoma City.

More than two dozen fires were reported in several cities across the state Friday, as sustained winds of 15 to 25 mph and gusts of up to 40 mph pushed the fires across the state's grassy terrain, officials said.

The fires prompted evacuations of homes and schools. It is not known how many people may have been injured because of the fires.

The governor's disaster declaration allows state agencies to make emergency purchases and acquisitions needed to expedite the delivery of resources to local jurisdictions. The declaration also marks a first step toward seeking federal assistance, should it be necessary.