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Wildfires burn across parts of Texas

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Midland wildfire prompts evacuations
  • The Texas Forest Service responds to various wildfires
  • The largest wildfire has destroyed at least one home and threatens more
  • Officials warn that weather conditions Sunday will probably be ripe for wildfire growth
  • A grass fire in Oklahoma has prompted evacuations
  • Wildfires
  • Texas

(CNN) -- Strong winds whipped up wildfires across north and west Texas on Saturday, as officials warned that conditions could get even worse.

Texas Forest Service spokesman Alan Craft said the group's crews were battling 18 fires, the largest of which is the Swenson Fire in northern Texas.

That blaze has burned about 61,500 acres and destroyed at least one home, Craft said. Other structures are threatened, and the fire has not yet been contained.

Craft said he expects weather conditions to worsen Sunday.

"According to National Weather Center meteorologists, the conditions are probable for a regional wildfire outbreak similar to the ones that occurred April 9, 2009 across the Southern Plains of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas, claiming 147,924 acres, 111 homes and four lives," the Texas Forest Service said on its website.

The National Weather Service, citing strong winds and relatively low humidity, has issued a red flag warning for the western parts of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.

Elsewhere in the U.S. Southwest, a grass fire burning just south of Cleveland, Oklahoma, has prompted evacuations.

As many as 70 firefighters are involved in the response, as well as three helicopters, said Terry Dennis, a spokesman with the Cleveland Fire Department. Twelve families have checked into a Red Cross shelter, but more have been evacuated, he said, adding that there have been no reports of injuries.