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Crews Still Battle Major Wildfire near Alva

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Oklahoma Forestry Service
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Strong winds have thwarted efforts to contain a wildfire that has burned 620 square miles of rural land in Oklahoma and Kansas, and it's now approaching populated areas. Oklahoma Forestry Services spokesman Mark Goeller said Thursday that strong winds shifted the direction of the fire late Wednesday and overwhelmed existing containment lines. Officials are now monitoring a part of the blaze 5 miles away from Alva, Oklahoma, where about 5,000 people live. No mandatory evacuations have been issued in Oklahoma, though Goeller says officials are forming contingency evacuation plans as crews work to slow the fire's spread. Goeller says wind conditions and humidity are expected to improve throughout the day, making progress on containment more likely.