April 18 (UPI) -- Gusty winds and extreme drought from Colorado to Oklahoma have created nearly 30 wildfires in the Southwest and southern Plains, officials said Wednesday.
Winds of up to 90 mph were expected to subside Wednesday as the storm system moved east.
Arizona and New Mexico are under fire alerts, as strong winds are forecast for Thursday.
Tuesday, fire crews contained a large wildfire in southwest Kansas -- and emergency officials requested Black Hawk helicopters from the Nebraska National Guard to help with suppression, due to high fire danger Wednesday.
The Stanton County Sheriff's Office said multiple homes have been lost.
Colorado fire crews battled wildfires Tuesday, as dry conditions and warm wind gusts up to 60 mph help spread the flames.
In Oklahoma, a large wildfire burned about 248,000 acres -- prompting evacuations in the northwestern part of the state.