Oklahoma Grass Fires

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A ban on outdoor burning is in effect in Oklahoma, where gusty winds, soaring temperatures and a lingering drought have contributed to a rash of wildfires.

Dozens of homes and other structures have been destroyed and at least seven firefighters have been injured. Two volunteer firefighters were badly burned yesterday battling an eight-mile-long fire in southwestern Oklahoma that authorities think was deliberately set. One man has been arrested on suspicion of arson and authorities are looking for another.

The fire forced the evacuation of a nursing home, two schools, a technical center and a commercial distribution center.

Nearly half a (m) million acres have burned statewide since November first.